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Salty Topics: Emergent Technology Decreases Time, Cost to Track Red Tide

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Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center

1800 Weedon Dr NE

St. Petersburg, Florida 33702

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UF/IFAS Extension, FloridaSea Grant: Salty Topics Marine Research Speaker Series. This Spring 2019 series will focus on coastal and marine water quality, an issue of utmost concern for the residents of Pinellas County and the greater Tampa Bay region.

Salty Topics: HABscope: Decreasing Time and Cost to Track Red Tide Blooms

Red tide, is a natural, yet destructive phenomenon that is likely being exacerbated by nutrient pollution and climate change. Red tide causes fish, manatee and sea turtle deaths. As well, the aerosols from red tide cause respiratory distress for people visiting coastal waters where a bloom is present. Tracking red tide blooms, is therefor of great concern for our communities. Agencies such as the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, Florida Fish and Wildlife, and Mote Marine Laboratory, are working together to track blooms. However, traditional bloom tracking requires that water samples are taken in the field, preserved, and then analyzed by a technician using a laboratory microscope. The counts can take up to one week to complete and at the height of the bloom season are unlikely to be valid when published. A new technology, HABscope, was designed to be usable by a volunteer with minimal training and to provide real-time cell counts from the sampling location.

In this program, Libby Carnahan, Florida Sea Grant Agent, will review the biology and ecology of red tide. Then, Bob Currier, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), will present the production and application of the Habscope model. Pinellas County has been a pilot testing site for the HABscope. Lessons learned and success stories will also be discussed.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:30. Please arrive early to enjoy refreshments, meet the organizers, check in, and find your seats. Salty Topics is generously sponsored by the Friends of Weedon Island who support education, preservation, and protection of Weedon Island’s habitat, ecology, and cultural history. Learn more about how you can get involved at http://fowi.org.

Questions or Concerns? Contact Libby Carnahan at (727) 453-6522 or lcarnahan@pinellascounty.org.

Photo Credit: NASA


Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this class you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Prior to two working days before the class, please contact the Office of Human Rights, 400 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Suite 500, Clearwater, FL 33756, (727) 464-4062 (Voice/TDD).

UF/IFAS Extension is an equal opportunity institution.

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Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center

1800 Weedon Dr NE

St. Petersburg, Florida 33702

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