Edmonds Discovery Programs
A Leader in Conservation Education since 1980

On Saturday the 19th of July 2008, a large bloom of algae appeared on Olympic Beach, just north of the fishing pier.  Called Noctiluca, this type of algal bloom can be bright orange in color, and can look quite thick – almost like tomato soup.

Noctiluca is a large dinoflagellate that is named for its ability to bioluminesce--or glow--at night.  Although this is a red tide forming organism, Noctiluca is harmless and non-toxic and for a number of weeks in summer, it is often observed in the marine waters of the Puget Sound region. 

These “blooms” usually last 3 to 7 days, and are linked to high concentrations of their plankton food sources, as well as seasonal circulation of nutrient-rich water.  Runoff from agricultural, lawn & garden pollution may contribute to the severity of these blooms, but is not required to cause such events of explosive algal growth.

Algee Bloom