More than a decade ago, the U.S. approach to research on
harmful algal blooms (HABs) was uncoordinated and modest
in scale. Research groups were few and their work was piecemeal
and constrained by small budgets that fluctuated with the
sporadic blooms that would occur. There were virtually no U.S.
government laboratories involved in HAB research. Funding
for academic scientists was largely available through competitions
with the entire oceanographic community since there
were no targeted funding programs for HABs. This situation
changed dramatically with the formulation of Marine Biotoxins
and Harmful Algal Blooms: A National Plan (Anderson et al.,
1993). This plan, the result of a workshop involving academic
and federal scientists, agency officials, and industry representatives
identified major impediments to the goal of science-based
management of resources affected by HABs, and made recommendations
on the steps needed to remove those impediments.