The MCHD Environmental Laboratory receives and collects phytoplankton samples as a result of investigations of marine and freshwater conditions. Algae blooms are sometimes described as brown, foamy and smelly or sometimes can appear as green or red, depending on the species present.
In the lab, a Sedgewick-Rafter cell is used for enumeration using 200X magnification. Historical phytoplankton records are available. Algae blooms seem to follow a seasonal pattern, these seasonal blooms can be checked for harmful algal blooms (HABs).