HAB Toolkit

HAB Webpage, Surveillance Map & General Information

Harmful Algal Bloom – Main Page 
It is the official VDH-DEE-HAB website. It contains information and resources related to the Harmful Algal Bloom Program.

Harmful Algal Bloom Surveillance-Map  
It reflects the status of algae blooms during HAB season (March-November), as well as the results of algae bloom samples. The map is updated weekly or as needed year around.

HAB Online Report Form
The form provides an option for online HAB report submittal. It can be utilized by the publics and environmental health professionals. It provides an easy way for the primary task force members to communicate HAB reports received by them with one another and to request assistance.

HAB Taskforce Response Plan (2017) 
The response plan is intended as a brief, public-facing document which articulates the function, roles, and responsibilities of the primary taskforce agencies and expectations on services provided by each during HAB events.

Universal HAB Talking Points

VDH Brochures:

Poison Hotline & Map of Centers 
Poison Control Centers may be engauged to utilize HAB talking points and specific waterbody-bloom information to the public during bloom events

Private Waterbody Managers Toolkit - FAQs and Resources

Medical, Veterinary and Epidemiology Resources & Information

HAB Process Flow
The flow chart is intended to serve as a job aide for VDH staff for the coordinating, reporting, and investigating of HAB events.

*VDH HAB Human Screening Form 
Is intended to facilitate the investigation of a reported waterborne exposure, such that the local health district can more easily determine whether or not the more comprehensive OHHABS human report form is necessary.

CDC - Waterborne Disease Outbreak Investigation Toolkit

CDC-One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS) Online Guidance and Training Resources 
The newly launched OHHABS system provides a database for collecting and storing environmental, animal, and human HAB exposure information.

*OHHABS- Human Form and Guidance
May be utilized by Epi Staff when one or more exposures are reported  - please send forms securely via Virtu in email.

Event and Case Definitions
Tables offer definition of HAB event and human HAB associated case.

CDC – HAB Associated Illness and Syndromes

VDH – Marine Toxins and Associated Syndromes

VDH – Cyanobacteria Toxins and Health Effects

CDC - Veterinarian card for Cyanobacteria exposures

Resources for Environmental Health Specialists

(5/2024)This document is meant to be used alongside the below Guidance for Cyanobacteria Recreational Advisory Management. It details the types of data which are and are not accepted at this time for determining recreational management decisions and a new public outreach mechanism for the presence of benthic cyanobacteria blooms - called "Algae Alerts". Updated PTOX list and effective date.

Guidance for Cyanobacteria Recreational Advisory Management
(8/2021) This document details the decision-making process for issuing and lifting of bloom advisories by public health & environmental officials in response to the occurrence of a potentially toxigenic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms in Virginia’s waters.

Link to EPA May 2019 Human Health Recreational Advisory HABs Factsheet:

HAB Public Notification 

Press Releases
Template press releases for issuing or lifting recreational advisories.

HAB Signs & Posters
Signs for raising HAB-awareness , posting HAB-affected waterways, and animal health alert poster from CDC.

EPA – Template Social Media Posts

Issuing or lifting an advisory For social media posts.

ODU Phytoplankton Analysis Lab - HAB Sample Collection for Cyanobacteria (2024)

This document explains the safety procedures, supplies, collection, and shipping steps necessary for HAB water samples.

ODU Phytoplankton Analysis Lab - Visual Sampling Aid (2021)

ODU Phytoplankton Analysis Lab - How-to Video for Packing and Shipping Samples (2023)

Visual Guide to Observing Blooms
This guide is provided by CA Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP). It contains images of various HAB to help users identifying and reporting non-toxic algae versus cyanobacteria.

HAB Training (2017)