Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium - Sarasota, Florida

RED TIDE AND HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM MONITORING

Karenia brevis, a single-celled dinoflagellate which contains several potent neurotoxins, typically inhabits the Gulf of Mexico year round in low concentrations. However, when conditions are favorable for K. brevis to multiply rapidly, a "red tide" bloom results, and the resulting toxins can cause massive fish kills, shellfish contamination, and respiratory problems in beach-goers. With increasing concern over the frequency, severity, and geographic distribution of harmful algal blooms, a monitoring program was begun in late 1999 in the Middle and Lower Florida Keys.

Samples are collected and water quality measurements are taken every few weeks at stations throughout the Lower Keys to determine if K. brevis cells are present and if conditions are favorable for future bloom development. 

Indications of potential events are also obtained from satellite observations of sea surface temperatures and chlorophyll, as well as a network of volunteer "Marine Observers" who maintain a watch for and report discolored water or fish kills.  The Project Team also responds to reports of possible "red tides"  throughout the Keys to verify the presence of K. brevis and, if present, determine cell concentrations, as well as to collect samples for cell  culture and toxicology studies.

Click on the map to view recent sample results.

You can also  view previous sample results collected by Mote's Florida Keys Red Tide Monitoring Program, available for every month beginning with January, 2000

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Mote Marine Laboratory - Tropical Research Laboratory
24244 Overseas Highway, Summerland Key, Florida 33042
(305)745-2729 - (305) 745-2730(FAX) - TRL-info@mote.org

View recent sample results from routine HAB monitoring, response, and volunteer sampling program.

Routine Water Sampling

Chemical Extractions

Cell Counts and Identification