The Marine Policy Institute released its first policy assessment in August 2007, offering an overview of past and current red tide research and providing recommendations for future efforts.

The document provides an overview of historical and current red tide research and public discussion, covering areas as diverse as the cause of Florida's red tide and governance issues, to the effects red tide has on Florida residents and marine species and the state's economy.

According to MPI Director Dr. Alcock, a former Belfer Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a key theme of the Institute's work is on land-sea interactions. The public concern surrounding red tides — including questions about interactions between coastal runoff and bloom severity and duration — made the topic a natural for the Institute's first report.

"There have been decades of research surrounding Florida's red tide — and much has been learned," he said. "Yet research has failed to identify a primary cause for the blooms, leading to frustration among policymakers, stakeholder groups and the general public. We can't let unresolved questions detract from two important agendas: reducing coastal pollution and responding to red tide. Florida needs to reduce coastal pollution for reasons that go beyond red tide, and its response to red tide needs to go beyond reducing coastal pollution. We need to push forward with both agendas regardless of their linkage."

The Institute initiated its assessment of Florida red tide with the following tasks in mind:

  • Survey the broad range of research activity pertaining to Florida red tides 
  • Translate research results into understandable language 
  • Synthesize and integrate the most relevant research findings in a manner that responds to the most pressing questions put forth by policy makers, stakeholders, scientists and the public 
  • Assess alternative management strategies and existing regulatory frameworks
  • Provide guidance where appropriate

Read the full report: An Assessment of Florida Red Tide: Causes, Consequences and Management Strategies