Symposium brings top minds in fight against algae like Red Tide - WFLA News Channel 8

Sarasota symposium talks red tide with top researchers

Posted: Updated:
Researchers studying red tide at Sarasota symposium Researchers studying red tide at Sarasota symposium
Researchers studying red tide at Sarasota symposium Researchers studying red tide at Sarasota symposium
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Every so often, a harmful algae forms in the gulf leaving a terrible impact on the Tampa Bay region.  It's called "red tide". It causes respiratory problems, fish kills, and led to nearly 300 manatee deaths this year.

But you probably didn't know that algae blooms affect nearly every state in the nation.

It can poison birds, kill fish, there’s even a specific strain of algae that can eat holes through human brains!

This week, a national symposium is going on in Sarasota to help combat the problem.

The 7th Symposium on Harmful Algae in the US brings America’s top minds into one room to see how they can better protect humans and the environment.

Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick from Mote Marine Laboratory said, "Part of that is understanding each other's issues, and figuring how we can help each other."

The symposium is an event organized by Mote Marine lab that brings in more than 200 researchers from around the country.

 They’re all sharing research and discussing how algae blooms impact their respective communities.

Because the same strain of algae can impact different regions in different ways.

Experts say a strain called ‘Karenia Brevis’ can create neuro-toxic shellfish poisoning.

Officials say along the Gulf of Mexico, there are no cases of people dying from eating the poisoned shellfish

 “In contrast,” said Kirkpatrick. “The species that hits the Gulf of Maine residents is extremely toxic and if you eat contaminated shellfish from the Gulf of Maine, there have been deaths.”

Dr. Raphael Kudela from the University of California, Santa Cruz has done extensive research on the effects of algae blooms on the west coast.

And he’s seen some terrible things, like algae blooms that can eat holes in human brains.

But he says the same strain in the Gulf of Mexico has no such impact.

So he says by coming together and sharing information, these scientists can discover ways to better protect the environment not only here, but around the country.

Kudela said, “Instead of just gloom and doom all the time, we'd really like to help them move to predictive systems, to helping them be able to get rid of the toxins in the first place, to figuring out why they're there."

They’re also discussing new strains of algae blooms that have popped up around the country.

Dr. Kirkpatrick said, "Part of the scientific method is sharing our knowledge with each other and then perhaps another investigator taking it to the next step to see if this works in our backyard."

After all, there may be procedures that were tested in California that could help prevent algae blooms in Maine.

“Part of the scientific method is sharing our knowledge with each other and then perhaps another investigator taking it to the next step to see if this works in our backyard,” said Kirkpatrick.

And one of the best ways to figure that out is to put all the experts together into one room.


Related Content: Other Sarasota  Stories

  Do you tweet? We do! Join us on http://8.wfla.com/1dsYrjS

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:33:29 GMT
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
  • Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:37:09 GMT
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Body found near Polk search area for missing girl

    Body found near Polk search area for missing girl

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-08-02 01:53:38 GMT
    Alexandria Chery, 16, of OrlandoAlexandria Chery, 16, of Orlando
    A decomposed body has been found near the search area for a missing 16-year-old Orange County girl.
    A decomposed body has been found near the search area for a missing 16-year-old Orange County girl.
  • Tampa attorney says taking cover a part of life in Israel

    Tampa attorney says taking cover a part of life in Israel

    Friday, August 1 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-08-02 00:56:30 GMT
    Today in Tampa, young and old, Christians and Jews gathered in Lykes Gaslight Square Park. About 200 of them showed their solidarity and support for Israel in its latest ongoing bloody battle with Hamas. One bay area man watched some of that battle up close. Tampa attorney Mark Wright watched the war unfold on television. Wright is Jewish-American, has friends in Israel and traveled to the Jewish state several times. He said he felt the need to go, to help....
    Today in Tampa, young and old, Christians and Jews gathered in Lykes Gaslight Square Park. About 200 of them showed their solidarity and support for Israel in its latest ongoing bloody battle with Hamas. One bay area man watched some of that battle up close. Tampa attorney Mark Wright watched the war unfold on television. Wright is Jewish-American, has friends in Israel and traveled to the Jewish state several times. He said he felt the need to go, to help....
  • No love for Lyft in the Tampa Bay area?

    No love for Lyft in the Tampa Bay area?

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:36 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:36:29 GMT
    Kevin Ludig feels like a rock star – he loves his job at Lyft that much.“You know I keep telling people I feel like a rock star because everyone keeps talking about what I do,” joked Kevin in his sleek Mercury MKS Hybrid. “I love this job.”Kevin uses his life at Lyft as a supplement to his work in solar panel sales.
    Kevin Ludig feels like a rock star – he loves his job at Lyft that much.“You know I keep telling people I feel like a rock star because everyone keeps talking about what I do,” joked Kevin in his sleek Mercury MKS Hybrid. “I love this job.”Kevin uses his life at Lyft as a supplement to his work in solar panel sales.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.