September 3, 2020
by: Jim Frankowiak
TAMPA BAY, Fla. – University of Florida researchers are undertaking a survey of marine businesses impacted by the 2018 red tide event that took place between October 2017 and January of 2019. The survey, called the “Assessment of the Impacts of Florida’s 2018 Red Time Event,” will focus on Southwest Florida and then statewide results.
Lisa Krimsky, a regional specialized water agent for UF/IFAS Extension and author of this document about red tides, said they happen almost every year, but the most recent was unique in its breadth. “The 2017-19 bloom was unprecedented in recent history in both duration and geographic impact,” Krimsky said. “The bloom was widely dispersed due to ocean currents and hurricane-force winds, reaching the Panhandle and Florida’s southeast coast.”
Researchers are interested in hearing from two marine industry sectors by September 25:
- For-hire/charter operations such as fishing charters, sightseeing cruises, and eco-tours (link)
- Marine recreation operations, which include marinas, boat sales and rentals, marine recreation equipment sales and rental, and fishing supplies and more (link).
These surveys are designed to gather data and gain insights on the type of — and scale of — the impacts of the 2018 red tide event for marine recreation businesses and for-hire/charter operations and should take 10-15 minutes to complete, depending on individual business characteristics. The survey information will be helpful to decision-makers as they consider options for prevention and mitigation of these events.
The West Coast Inland Navigation District and the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association have provided funding to researchers to provide quantifiable, detailed data of the overall impacts of this event across a wide variety of economic sectors.