Sharing a common need to better understand the underlying dynamics of these disruptive events, a regional partnership was formed of tribal and non-tribal community leaders, businesses, and state and federal resource managers and researchers. Together they joined to form ORHAB- a regional forum to collaboratively seek answers.
To date, ORHAB project has prevented commercial product recalls, limited the occurrences of recreationally-harvested clams that must be destroyed, and lessened the impact from the loss of tourism dollars to local economies associated with short-notice recreational harvest closures and public notice of toxic events. This collaboration offers a model for reducing overall costs of HAB monitoring by taking advantage of the resources of our many partners. The formation of working relationships among the region’s agencies leads to better communication, collaboration and supporting monitoring costs with local funding.
Benefits to Managers
Because the ORHAB project provides weekly phytoplankton levels at several beach locations, the Washington State Dept of Health (WDOH) has allowed the Dept of Fish and Wildlife and tribal managers to reduce the number of razor clam samples to be tested prior to beach opening for harvest. This results in reduced cost and faster analysis. Prior to ORHAB, four days was needed to test clams for toxins and to post results. Now, because of WDFW’s and tribe’s strong collaboration with other partners, results are posted in only two days.