Featured image: Florida Sea Grant

In recent years, intense blooms of Karenia brevis red tide and Microcystis aeruginosa cyanobacteria, known commonly as blue-green algae, have plagued Florida waterways, impacting the state’s economy, environment and public health. Though notable in their duration and intensity, these harmful algal blooms, or HABs, are not uncommon. Florida experiences a variety of HABs in its marine and fresh waters.

In 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order 19-12 established the Blue-Green Algae Task Force and revived the state’s Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force to provide technical expertise and recommendations to reduce the adverse impacts of future blooms.

The University of Florida Thompson Earth Systems Institute, Florida Sea Grant and the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension, have produced two fact sheets that represent the latest science-based information about red tide and blue-green algae.

The information was cultivated during the 2019 HAB State of the Science Symposium hosted by the UF/IFAS and Florida Sea Grant. The Symposium’s 75 participants represented 27 unique institutions encompassing academia, nonprofit organizations, local, state and federal agencies, allowing for a diverse and comprehensive assessment of the scientific research arena.

Read the fact sheets at the following links: 

For a more in-depth explanation, visit the symposium consensus publication: State of the Science for Harmful Algal Blooms in Florida: Karenia brevis and Microcystis spp.