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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication Sept. 24, 1998 – No 719


The Auditorium at the Duke University
Marine Lab on Pivers Island, Beaufort, NC
Sept. 27-Oct. 1

Algae which cause human health problems topic of international conference in Beaufort

Cyanobacteria, a harmful algae linked with pollution and alteration of freshwater and marine environments, will be the topic of the Fourth International Conference on Toxic Cyanobacteria at the auditorium at the Duke University Marine Lab on Pivers Island in Beaufort, Sunday (Sept. 27)-Thursday (Oct. 1).

Scientists from around the globe will meet to discuss environmental and human impacts of the algae, commonly called blue-green algae, and the causes behind the problem.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences will host the event with support from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the N.C. Sea Grant Program, the UNC Water Resources Research Institute and the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation of Finland.

The meeting is closed to the public but media representatives are invited with advance arrangements. Co-chairs of the conference, Dr. Hans Paerl of UNC-CH and Dr. Wayne W. Carmichael of Wright State University, will make special arrangements for interested members of the media. Reporters should contact the UNC-CH Institute of Marine Sciences if they wish to attend.

Paerl, Kenan professor of marine biology at UNC-CH, published a paper in the June issue of the scientific journal Science on the existence of blue-green algae and various bacteria beneath Antarctic ice.

On Tuesday, he will discuss, "Environmental Controls on Harmful Cyanobacterial Bloom Expansion: What are the Manageable Options?"

A World Wide Web site for the meeting can be found at The site includes abstracts for presentations at the meeting, an itinerary and other details.

Topics to be discussed include:

How harmful toxins produced by cyanobacteria can potentially affect human and animal health.

Environmental regulation, controls and management of cyanobacterial blooms in aquatic ecosystems.

Economic impacts of harmful cyanobacterial blooms -- aquaculture, for example.

How toxic cyanobacterial blooms relate to trends in water quality worldwide.

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Note: Paerl can be reached at (252) 726-6841. Carmichael can be reached at (937) 775 3173.

Contact: Bret Johnson, (919) 962-0352.