GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida has unveiled a new website to address the public’s confusion surrounding harmful algal blooms (HABs) – the causes of such events, effects and attempts to combat future blooms. Scientists from several departments within the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and affiliated groups teamed up to provide expertise for the site, which is hosted on the UF/IFAS Extension website for water programs.

“UF/IFAS has faculty in all varieties of disciplines, spread across the state, working to address the problem of harmful algal blooms,” said Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “This is an issue of great public importance, and our scientists are continuously searching for the answers to identify effective solutions.”

Contributing departments and programs to the website include fisheries and aquatic sciences; soil and water sciences; food and resource economics; agricultural and biological engineering; and family, youth and community sciences. The Florida Sea Grant program, UF Water Institute, UF College of Veterinary Medicine, and UF Emerging Pathogens Institute provided additional content.

The UF/IFAS Extension program, with a presence in every Florida county, plays a large role in informing the public on issues concerning their communities, like HABs. Through the Florida Sea Grant program, UF/IFAS also teams with 17 Florida universities to better understand and address the issues related to HABs. Other collaborative UF/IFAS work includes coordinating with entities such as water management districts, state and federal agencies, local governments, agricultural commodity groups and industries.