I. Using Molecular Methods to Study Cyanobacterial Blooms. This presentation introduces molecular monitoring approaches used in the detection and quantification of cyanobacterial groups and cyanotoxin genes implicated in harmful algal blooms. Results will be presented from next generation sequence analysis and qPCR/RT-qPCR methods to characterize cyanobacterial community structure, associated bacterial community, toxic cyanobacteria, and geographically localized genotypes or species. The methods study cyanobacterial functional genes associated with nutrients in toxin production, their relationship to water quality parameters, and explore drivers of cyanotoxin production using mRNA-based sequence analysis. This presentation also discusses occurrence, distribution, temporal-spatial variations of cyanobacteria, especially toxin-producers, and use as early warning systems for cyanotoxin production.
II. Funding Integration Tool for Source Water: Finding a Plan a FITS. With different funding mechanisms available, it can be difficult finding one that works for specific source water protection needs. EPA’s Source Water Protection Team created the Funding Integration Tool for Source Water (FITS), a one-stop-shop tool that explains how users can integrate various federal funding sources to support activities that protect drinking water sources. This presentation discusses the basic functions and value of the tool and demonstrates use of FITS in a mock scenario.