New Model on Initiation of Florida Red Tides Generates International Media Coverage
Scientists from the National Centers for C0astal Ocean Science released a new research model on November 7 that links nutrients from the Mississippi River outflow as a stimulus for initiation of harmful algal blooms on the continental shelf off the west coast of Florida. The study provides models and data that support the hypothesis that red tide blooms originate offshore and not near the coast. The algae grow offshore, supplied with additional nutrients that appear to have originated from the Mississippi River in a process driven by normal seasonal wind patterns. The new hypothesis provides an important explanation that can aid in predicting when these blooms might start. In addition to local media outlets, the Associated Press story appeared in over 100 locations in the U.S., Japan, Australia, and several European countries. This peer-reviewed hypothesis is being published in a special issue on Florida red tide in the journal Continental Shelf Research to be released in 2008.