Florida red tide is a type of harmful algal bloom caused by higher-than-normal concentration of the microscopic alga, Karenia brevis, that occurs in the ocean and coastal waters of southwest Florida. These blooms can harm sea life, lead to massive fish kills, cause human respiratory problems, close beaches, and be detrimental to shellfish, fishing and tourism industries. The Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative is a partnership between Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that establishes an independent and coordinated effort among public and private research entities to develop prevention, control and mitigation technologies that will decrease the impacts of Florida red tide on the environment, economy and quality of life in Florida.

On August 11 and 12, Mote hosted a workshop of over 75 attendees where red tide mitigation scientists, engineers, and government agencies, gathered to review the research being developed, discuss the status and options for deployment technologies, understand the regulatory steps and agencies involved, and plan for intellectual property and commercialization issues that may arise. The Red Tide Initiative is entering its fourth year of six and significant progress is being made on developing Florida red tide mitigation tools and technologies for field testing and implementation, thus the next step is working to move the research products to the marketplace.

”Mote is uniquely situated to create solutions through applied science, and the Red Tide Initiative is a perfect example, as we’re bringing together scientists, engineers, businesses, academic institutions and federal, state and local government partners to collaboratively develop and commercialize harmful algae bloom mitigation tools and technologies,” said Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of Mote.

So far under the Red Tide Initiative, Mote has issued four public requests for proposals, reviewed over 100 mitigation technology development proposals, considered well over 200 mitigation concepts, and subcontracted and partnered on a variety of research and regulatory issues with more than 30 different private business, agency and academic partners. The Initiative funding opportunities have been open to any and all interested parties and Mote has received widespread local, state, national and international interest.

Read more about the Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative here.