Harmful Algae Blooms (HABS)

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THE PROBLEM

Unlike the other ‘Threats to Healthy Water Quality’ Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are not a pollutant directly or indirectly discharged into the environment by humans. HABs are caused by naturally occurring algae. Although the algae associated with HABs and the blooms themselves can be naturally occurring, humans worsen the problem by contributing to nutrient pollution which feeds this algae.

You have likely experienced the effect of HABs yourself during the 2021 red tide event following the release of wastewater from the Piney Point gypsum stacks. HABs can cause public health problems including respiratory irritation, shortness of breath, asthma attacks and throat, eye, and skin irritation. HABs also cause environmental issues such as reduced oxygen levels in the water and fish kills. Lastly the economic losses caused by HAB can be staggering and not just for anglers and tourist related business but it has been shown that HABs also reduce property values (Bechard 2020).

Learn more about HABs from Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other resources.
 

WHAT IS TBWK DOING ABOUT IT?

ADVOCACY

EDUCATION & OUTREACH

TAKE ACTION - WHAT YOU CAN DO