Florida Red Tide: Protecting Public Health Through Innovation and Citizen Science Tracy Fanara, E.I., Ph.D. Program Manager, Environmental Health, Mote Marine Laboratory Tracy earned a Ph.D., M.E., and BS in Environmental Engineering from
Florida Red Tide: Protecting Public Health Through Innovation and Citizen Science
Tracy Fanara, E.I., Ph.D.
Program Manager, Environmental Health, Mote Marine Laboratory
Tracy earned a Ph.D., M.E., and BS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida with a focus on hydrologic restoration and stormwater treatment and has almost a decade of engineering consulting work experience from all over the world. At Mote Marine Laboratory, she investigates, designs, and implements strategies to alleviate manmade and natural impacts on the environment and human health. Her team uses advanced technology and citizen scientists to collect data while educating the public. You may have seen her on Science Channel’s Mythbusters: The Search, ABC’s Animal Outtakes, or Fox’s Awesome Planet.
In her talk, Dr. Fanara will discuss neurotoxins from Karenia brevis blooms and how they threaten aquatic and human health. When toxic aerosols are present, respiratory irritation, or respiratory illness in people with chronic respiratory disease, can ensue, resulting in negative beach experiences. Informing the public of beach conditions is an effective strategy to protect beachgoers by encouraging visits to unaffected beaches. Three modern approaches to information dissemination and data collection were developed to inform and empower the public through citizen science and to protect public health during a bloom. However, what tools can be used to prevent prolonged duration or increased intensity from land-derived nutrients? As stormwater is the largest non-point source of pollution, treating nutrients at the source should be the status quo. Changes at the regulatory level may take time, but there are things citizens can do to help now. Come learn with us!