Florida’s Harmful Algal Blooms: 2018 Overview and Federal Response

Across the U.S., the seafood, restaurant and tourism industries suffer an estimated $82 million in economic losses from harmful algal blooms.

There are thousands of species of algae — phytoplankton — in fresh andĀ  marine waters. They are essential to life as we know it, forming the basis of the food web and providing an important source of the oxygen we need to breathe. While most species are harmless to humans and animals, some are toxic. When these species multiply — creating harmful algal blooms (HABs) — they can wreak havoc on human and marine animal health, contaminate seafood and devastate local economies.

From red and brown tides on the coasts to cyanobacteria in lakes, Florida has more toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs) than any other state. As the lead federal agency for coastal HABs, NOAA, along with other federal and state partners, has long-term investments in HAB research, detection, forecasting and response.

From 11 a.m. to noon on Monday, June 11, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Bill Posey are co-hosting a briefing in room SVC 203-02 in the Capitol Hill Visitors Center that will review the extent of HABs and their impacts to Florida’s communities and economies and share advances in detection and forecasting.


  • Dr. Steven Thur — Director of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
  • Cecil Pendergrass — Lee County, Florida, Commissioner
  • Katherine Hubbard — Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Barb Kirkpatrick — Gulf of Mexico Coastal
    Ocean Observing System
  • Richard Stumpf — NOAA National Centers forĀ  Coastal Ocean Science
  • Ed Chiles — Owner and CEO of the Southwest Florida-based The Chiles Group

When: 11 a.m. to noon, Monday, June 11
Where: SVC 203-02 in the Capitol Hill Visitors Center.
RSVP: to Michael Jarvis, michael.jarvis@noaa.gov