At a gathering designed to put NOAA's suite of red tide forecasts in the hands of more Floridians, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science's harmful algae experts and their partners explored avenues to strengthen partner collaboration, gather feedback, identify improvements, consider potential users, and determine requirements for new developments.
The Florida officials seemed genuinely excited about the vision for the next generation of red tide forecasts. They were also interested in the National Weather Service's thoughts on increasing outreach about algal blooms through social media tools and products. NOAA's weather agency confirmed that adding the red tide forecast to its new daily Beach Hazard Statements could indeed be beneficial to existing public awareness efforts. The NOAA Weather Service only unveiled the pilot program in May. Its purpose is to inform beachgoers about a wide range of hazards, both natural and man made.
The partnership included NOAA's Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System, representing the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, as well as a facilitator from the Coastal Services Center. They also invited Florida officials and the Southeast Regional Office of NOAA Marine Fisheries Service, based out of St. Petersburg.