Editor’s note: This post was written and published in collaboration with Florida Sea Grant. Large portions of the material in the linked posts below were authored by Florida Sea Grant faculty and staff and republished here with permission. Visit their page, Harmful Algal Blooms in Florida, to learn more. 

Florida is no stranger to a variety of algae blooms. You’ve probably heard of them. Eye-burning red tide. Guacamole textured blue-green cyanobacteria blooms. And the latest — a massive bloom of a seaweed, or macroalgae, called sargassum.

Blooms of magnitude of any of these algae can lead to environmental, economic and public health problems. But what causes these organisms to bloom by the masses? How much are humans to blame? How do we monitor and forecast these blooms? 

We’ve broken these questions down by each algae type below, thanks to the help of algae bloom experts in Florida and elsewhere. Explore each section to learn more. 

Still have questions?  Email us at earthsystems@floridamuseum.ufl.edu and we will relay your question to an expert and add it to the list! 

Learn more