St. Petersburg, FL – U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL) announced a $277,122 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the University of South Florida, in conjunction with the University of Central Florida, to help develop response and adaptation strategies to combat red tide. The funding will study the economic impacts of the 2017-2019 Florida red tide outbreak on tourism, commercial fishing, and public health, among others.
“Developing new approaches to mitigate and adapt to red tide outbreaks is critical to protecting our coastal communities, economy, and way of life” said Crist. “NOAA’s award to USF will fund important research and response efforts right here in our own backyard, where some of our very best and brightest are working to combat red tide. I want to thank NOAA for continuing to prioritize this vital work.”
“University of South Florida researchers have a lasting impact on the future of our society by making new discoveries and developing novel solutions to complex problems,” said University of South Florida President Steven Currall. “USF scientists have a long history of studying red tide in the Gulf of Mexico. This research will help us develop a more complete understanding of how Florida’s environment is vitally important to our state’s economy and the livelihood of the people who reside here.”
The award, which is entitled “From Bloom to Bust: Estimating Economic Losses and Impacts of Florida Red Tide (Karenia brevis),” will fund a two-year project to allow USF and UCF to examine the economic impacts of red tide across 80 different economic sectors. The study will identify specific interactions and experiences that drive human behavior, which in turn intensify the economic impacts of harmful algal blooms.