Science

Scientists say drones may help to spot harmful algae blooms

Posted September 3

— Scientists in Virginia say that drones may help them spot algae blooms that are harmful to the environment and to human health.

The Daily Press reported Saturday that biologists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point have traditionally used boats and special sunglasses.

They have already been working with NASA on ways to identify algae species using satellite data. Iris Anderson, professor and biologist, said scientists are now wondering if those same methods can be employed using drones.

Algae blooms can be harmful. When they decay, they can suck oxygen from the water, endangering or killing marine life. Some can be toxic, posing possible health concerns for fishermen and swimmers.

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