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Agencies Working Quickly to Address Invasive Algae Species Found in Newport Harbor
The City is working with multiple federal, state and local agencies to identify the extent of a newly discovered invasive algae species in Newport Harbor and to develop an eradication plan.
The algae, which is native to Florida and other subtropical and tropical locales, is scientifically known as Caulerpa prolifera. It can grow quickly, and choke out native seaweeds and potentially harm marine life through lost habitat. The unusual patch of algae was discovered by a diver in the Entrance Channel area of the Newport Harbor, and identified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which alerted other agencies.
Federal, state and local agencies have been meeting and working quickly to identify the extent of the algae’s infestation in Newport Bay. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) scientists and divers are currently being deployed to map and identify the location of the species.
Although there is significant concern this species could potentially be harmful to native species, there is no danger to humans. However, it is imperative that the public avoid contact with the plant due to its extreme ease of recolonizing from just tiny fragments. If you believe you have seen this invasive algae, please contact CDFW at AskMarine@wildlife.ca.gov with the location and description and a photograph if possible. Please do not collect a specimen, as this may lead to further spread.
A similar species of invasive algae, Caulerpa taxifolia, was identified in California in 2000 and was successfully eradicated through a comprehensive joint local, state and federal effort in 2006. Due to the similarity between these two species, scientists believe this algae species may pose a serious threat to our local coastal ecosystems. Caulerpa species can reproduce by fragmentation, which is when small pieces of this algae break off and can root and quickly reproduce, rapidly out-competing native algae and sea grasses.
Additional information will be released as CDFW gathers more information with their state, federal and local agency partners.
The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected globally. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
The City of Newport Beach is working with federal, state, and local partners including the CDC, the OC Health Care Agency (OCHCA), and health care providers to prepare and appropriately care for people who may be at risk for illness associated with COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will share more as we are updated from our colleagues at the local, state and/or federal level.
- The Governor of California enacted an Executive Order for all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except for essential needs
- It is imperative for everyone to practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from others when performing essential need activities outside of your homes.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with influenza, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to limit spreading the infection.
- For more information, please visit the following websites: