Strategies for Preventing and Managing Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms (Benthic)

The goal of this project team is to enhance the ITRC HCB technical and regulatory guidance document developed by the original HCB team with more detailed information focused on benthic cyanobacteria. The project team developed a companion technical regulatory guidance document (and subsequent training) focused on:

  • Introduction to benthic cyanobacteria and connection to existing HCB document
  • Field screening and sampling for benthic cyanobacteria
  • Analytical toxin testing methods for mat samples
  • Toxin Thresholds - All cyanotoxins in mats; Neurotoxins and dermal toxins in water
  • Communication and Response Planning - Specific advisory signage and messaging
  • Specific considerations for Prevention and Management and Control Strategies

Click here to read the HCB-2 Online Guidance Document. Click here to read the HCB Fact Sheet.


Benthic cyanobacteria have unique characteristics compared to planktonic cyanobacteria, such as occurrence in clear water and higher flow, differential responses to environmental conditions, and more common production of neurotoxins. For these reasons, resources and methods specific to benthic harmful cyanobacterial blooms (HCBs) are necessary but are currently limited. 

Both members of the original HCB team and newly registered participants are invited to join this benthic HCB team. Contact the team leaders if you have any questions.

Team Leaders

Ben Holcomb

Beckye Stanton

Program Advisor

Cherri Baysinger