Scientists, resource managers share major updates on tackling Florida red tide
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Mote Marine Laboratory (Mote) gathered on Monday, Sept. 24, for the State of Florida’s press announcement of a new partnership initiative to address red tide. A related roundtable discussion with scientists and local stakeholder groups shared important updates on Florida’s state-local-private partnership efforts to manage red tide impacts.
Mote — an independent, nonprofit marine science institution based in Sarasota — served as host site for the news conference, highlighting its innovative work in red tide research and response.
During the news conference, FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton announced that Governor Scott was directing a $2.2 million investment to test innovative, red tide mitigation technologies, including specialized clay field experiments and expansion of Mote’s novel mitigation technologies, such as its ozone treatment system. Mote originally patented its ozone system to remove red tide and its toxins from water entering Mote Aquarium, later tested the system with seawater in a 25,000-gallon “mesocosm” pool at Mote’s Sarasota campus to prepare for field tests, and most recently conducted a pilot-scale field test in a dead-end canal in Boca Grande. While data from the pilot test are still being analyzed, it’s clear that the technology merits future testing to determine its effectiveness at commercial scale.