By Holly Rindge, USC Sea Grant
Mesh plankton net, bucket, thermometer, pipette, and microscope. Rowena Valderrama with The SEA Lab in Redondo Beach gathers equipment and prepares to train volunteers on how to collect and analyze plankton samples from the local harbor. They are on the hunt for specific species of algae that may be toxic and lead to harmful algal blooms (HABs). The SEA Lab is a program of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and her volunteers are mostly underserved young adults. Once a week they become citizen scientists and contribute important data to the Community HABwatch Program.