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NASA offers awards to spot algal blooms

Calling it Tick Tick Bloom, NASA said the goal of the participants is to use satellite imagery to detect and classify the severity of cyanobacteria blooms in small, inland water bodies

January 23, 2023 01:38 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:09 am IST

Harmful Algal Blooms in polluted water. File.

Harmful Algal Blooms in polluted water. File. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is offering $30,000 in total prizes to spot harmful algal blooms by using satellite images.

Calling it Tick Tick Bloom, NASA said the goal of the participants is to use satellite imagery to detect and classify the severity of cyanobacteria blooms in small, inland water bodies.

The first prize is $12000, the second prize is $9000 and the third prize is $6000.

Inland water bodies provide a variety of critical services for both human and aquatic life, including drinking water, recreational and economic opportunities, and marine habitats. A significant challenge water quality managers face is the formation of harmful algal blooms (HABs). One of the major types of HABs is cyanobacteria, NASA said.

It further added that HABs produce toxins that are poisonous to humans and their pets and threaten marine ecosystems by blocking sunlight and oxygen.

NASA said manual water sampling, or “in situ” sampling, is generally used to monitor cyanobacteria in inland water bodies. In situ sampling is accurate, but time intensive and difficult to perform continuously. Ultimately, more accurate and more timely detection of algal blooms helps keep both the human and marine life that rely on these water bodies safe and healthy.

The last date of the contest is on February 17, 2023.

Further details can be found here.

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