Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms: State of the Science and Research Needs

Click here to read the full report or read an excerpt below.


Species of toxigenic Lyngbya adapted to high salinity environments can

form benthic mats that expand over an area equivalent to a football field

within an hour, causing ecological damage and endangering human health

(Australian Environmental Protection Agency 2003).

Cyanotoxins also are found in terrestrial environments where they may

pose a risk to human and animal health. Surface waters are increasingly

used for field irrigation in agricultural production. Water drawn from

sources experiencing toxigenic CHABs is sprayed on crops, producing

cyanotoxin-containing aerosols that may be inhaled by humans and other

animals, and absorbed by crops. Cyanobacteria can form a symbiotic relationship

with terrestrial plants which may biomagnify cyanotoxins.

Cyanobacteria of the genus Nostoc form colonies on the roots of cycad

plants in Guam where for more than 30 years scientists have tried to unravel

the genesis of the mysterious neurodegenerative disease that afflicts

the native Chamorro population. An amino acid cyanotoxin produced by

Nostoc, beta methylamino-alanine (BMAA), accumulates in cycad seeds.

The seeds are eaten by a species of bat that accumulates high levels of

BMAA in its tissues. The bat is a traditional food source for the Chamorro.

Analyses detected BMAA in brain tissues of Chamorro victims, leading to

the hypothesis that BMAA causes neurodegeneration that may manifest

with features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and

Alzheimer’s dementia. Recent evidence indicates that BMAA is produced

by most types of cyanobacteria, and that it may be associated with neurodegenerative

diseases elsewhere (Human Health Effects Workgroup Report

this volume).



Evaluation of the potential of anoxic biodegradation of intracellular and dissolved microcystins in lake sediments

I don’t believe microcystins can be destroyed in anoxic environments based on what I know about Rock Snot. Click here to learn more.

Current research scenario for microcystins biodegradation – A review on fundamental knowledge, application prospects and challenges.

I think there is real potential to deal with blooms with enzymes. Click here to learn more.

Community Benefit Agreements, More about

I think these are good especially for our youth who have had a hard 12 years with the lack of education funds by the BC Liberal over the last 12 years, and lack of stable employment, and affordable housing. Youth are really struggling. I feel without the CBAs nobody would invest in our youth especially the Liberals who were still making cuts to education after they lost the election. Click on the links below to learn more.


BC Liberal plan to stop Community Benefit Agreements would hurt local workers and the economy

There has been a huge shortage of trades people since the late 80’s.

“He said the province is facing a severe shortage of skilled labour with more workers leaving than are entering the workforce.

“One of the reasons that we have a shortage, or incompletions in the apprenticeship system, is because apprentices are not given job opportunities,” he said. “This is going to allow for apprentices to be on publicly funded projects. It’s something we’ve been calling for for years.”

Sigurdson said the agreement means the government will, essentially, be the employer.

The Crown agency will work with winning contractors to hire trades and will do the payroll and all the paperwork.

“We do have a number of contractors that do not play in the legitimate economy,” Sigurdson said. “In the construction industry, there are a lot of workers who are in the underground economy and the contractors are very happy to pay them cash. That’s going to end.”

NDP launches new labour agreement for public projects

Community benefits agreements & the proposed BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc.

B.C. Taxpayers Deserve More Than Just The Public Project On The Blueprint


BC’s 21st Century Learning, More about

Here is some information I have found that may interest individuals who haven’t been involved with the school system for awhile. Things have really changed. In my opinion it is headed in the right direction. Click on the links below to learn more.


B.C.’s New Curriculum

Try a Trade 2014 short

Blended Learning Interviews

K-12 Innovation Highlight: Comox Valley

BC’s Education Plan is based on a simple vision: Capable young people thriving in a rapidly changing world.

BCTF  21st Century Learning Initiatives

Psychology Today  The Hidden Agenda Behind 21st Century Learning

Most Likely To Succeed MLTS Learning parks

Navigate (NIDES) ENTER: Art Installations

The problem I have with this is parents have to know where to look and go looking. Districts don’t provide this information to the students or families. I expect the reason for that is because they lose the student funding if they choose an education program in another district.

SD69 Qualicum – Education Programs – Programs of Choice

SD72 Campbell River

Click on the Programs tab on Campbell River SD. Be sure to click around on that link to find the TEENFLIGHT program. If you find that one, you’ll get the idea to keep clicking around. I am finding districts are adding more every year and they don’t list them all on one tab like Parksville … another beef of mine.


Erdkinder – The Montessori Answer To Adolescence

I believe this is where we are headed. My dream is for schools to become the social fabric of our communities and this is the example I use.

You go to the store and buy a brand new pair of jeans. You wear the jeans for awhile and they become ratty tatty. You bring the ratty tatty jeans to the school where students are taught how to repair them. The repaired jeans are then sold through a student-run non profit for a low rate to their peers, and a little higher rate to others on income assistance and a higher rate to the community. Any profits are then reinvested back into the school to form other social programs.

The benefit is students will have an opportunity to learn all kinds of job skills while still at school such as bookkeeping, accounting, marketing, sewing, etc. If they don’t like them, they can change “jobs”.

My other dream is to move NIDES to a location that would make it accessible to all students in the district by public transit and turn Tsolum School into a farm run by a farmer with rotating support from our students with all kinds of life and society benefits.

Students at Sandwick in the Try A Trade Program, not sure if they still do it, were building and selling cement benches to others (school districts?) in Canada. They weren’t making much money off them .. probably due to high shipping costs.

Inquiry Learning

Be sure to click around; I’m not sure they are all on this link.

Powell River Personalized Learning Programs

If you find the Metal Fabrication ACE IT Program you’re doing well. Keep clicking.

Programs & Services on Comox Valley School District

World Class How to Build a 21st-Century School System, 2018

Here is a good report (it’s long) that provides better unbiased information than the Fraser Report on education and compares how we are doing to other countries. Well worth reading for debunking the myths and helps explain why some things are changing.

Iceland Succeeds at Reversing Teenage Substance Abuse The U.S. Should Follow Suit

Fuzzy numbers: How math instruction varies widely for teachers-to-be across Canada

TEDxEastsidePrep – Shawn Cornally – The Future of Education Without Coercion


Medical personnel now required to report blue-green algae illnesses

This is the first time I have heard that health authorities have to report phytoplankton / cyanobacteria illnesses. Since I`ve learned about Rock Snot blooms in oligotrophic rivers on Vancouver Island, I’m not sure reducing phosphorus will be enough. Rock Snot only thrives in oligotrophic rivers with low nutrients including phosphorus. We definitely have our work cut for us if we want to have healthy watersheds. Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.




Low levels of exposure usually aren’t life-threatening for healthy adults. But bacterial algae blooms are considered an emerging health hazard that needs more study.

Mandatory reporting of illnesses will give public health experts a better idea of how many people are being sickened and where the worst problems are, said Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health Services.


“Timely recognition and reporting of suspected cases of cyanobacterial poisoning will also enable public health professionals to investigate and intervene at the site of exposure to prevent additional exposures and illnesses,” Miller said.


The new reporting requirement took effect July 1 as part of a state administrative rule that had been in the works for more than a year.

Increasing jellyfish populations: trends in Large Marine Ecosystems

Click here to read the full study or an excerpt below.



Fig. 2

Fig. 2 Map of population trends of native and invasive species of jellyfish by LME. Red increase (high certainty), orange increase (low certainty), green stable/variable, blue decrease, grey no data. Circles represent discrete chronicles with relative sizes reflecting the Confidence Index. Circle locations are approximate, as some were shifted to avoid overlap; the circle for the Antarctic LME summarizes circumpolar observations



Jellyfish populations appear to be increasing in the majority of the world’s coastal ecosystems and seas. While these increases are conspicuous in several locations, even basic knowledge of jellyfish populations in most regions is poor. Many of the observed increases appear linked to human activities, but the mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. Because jellyfish populations can have important impacts on human activities and marine ecosystems, it is of paramount importance that we rapidly increase our understanding of these creatures.