PORT ANGELES — A bloom of Noctiluca scintillans, a form of phytoplankton, hugs the shore at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles on Wednesday morning.
Tamara Galvin, facilities manager at the nearby Feiro Marine Life Center, said the algae was not toxic to humans, but fish and other marine life can be stressed through oxygen depletion around the bloom.
She speculated that recent rains and the ensuing runoff, combined with a period of warm sunshine Wednesday morning, caused the Noctiluca to proliferate in the shallow water.
Although some strains of Noctiluca exhibit bioluminescence, it is not known to glow in the Pacific Northwest, Galvin said.
Smaller Noctiluca blooms also were seen in other shoreline pockets along the Port Angeles waterfront.