Communities affected by the current Florida red tide are asking great questions — in particular, what more can be done to address this challenging harmful algal bloom (HAB) and better protect public health and quality of life?
Mote Marine Laboratory — an independent research institution that has studied Florida red tide for decades in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and numerous other partners — is working hard to answer that question with multiple scientific studies advancing this summer.
For months, several southwest Florida communities have been experiencing effects from elevated concentrations of the Florida red tide algae, Karenia brevis, which have persisted in the Gulf of Mexico since November 2017. Toxins from the bloom have caused large-scale fish kills, sickened or killed some large marine species and caused beachgoers to cough, sneeze and experience other respiratory or eye irritation, sometimes causing them to avoid the affected shoreline areas.
These impacts drive Mote scientists to find solutions. Mote is advancing innovative research with the ultimate goals of: improved rapid assessment and modeling for HAB forecasting; prevention, control and mitigation of HAB impacts; public health protection; and expansion of local community outreach and engagement.