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Northern California District
Release Date: 01/03/11
Contacts: Rachel Sowards-Thompson , (707) 986-5411 or  
  Jeff Fontana , (530) 252-5332  
News Release No. NC-11-18

Free Talk will Explore the World of Phytoplankton

The fascinating world of phytoplankton, producers of half the entire world’s oxygen, will be featured in a talk by Bureau of Land Management Interpreter Rachel Sowards-Thompson, Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m.  at the BLM King Range Project Office on Shelter Cove Road in Whitethorn.

Participants will have the opportunity to use microscopes to view the tiny organisms.  There is a limited number of microscopes, so those planning to attend should call Sowards-Thompson at (707) 986-5411 to reserve space.  Admission is free.

Sowards-Thompson has been participating in a Phytoplankton Monitoring Network organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and will explain the work underway to track potentially harmful algae blooms along California’s Lost Coast.

“Phytoplankton are critically important organisms,” Sowards-Thompson said.  “They produce huge amounts of oxygen, sequester carbon dioxide, and are the base of the marine food chain.  Without them, ocean ecosystems would collapse.

“Certain species, under the right conditions, can be deadly to marine life and humans,” she continued.  “I will talk about those species, how we are monitoring them, and how people can get involved with the partnership.”   The talk is part of a series of lectures and hikes focusing on natural resources of the Lost Coast.  A complete schedule of lectures and hikes that continue into February can be found at  Follow the links to King Range National Conservation Area and click on the guided hikes button.


Northern California District   355 Hemsted Drive, Redding, CA 96002   

Last updated: 01-03-2011