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UF Hosts Meeting of Blue-Green Algae Task Force

The University of Florida will host the next meeting of Florida’s Blue-Green Algae Task Force on August 30 at 9 a.m. at the UF Levin College of Law. The meeting is open to the public and will be streamed live on the Florida Channel.

Two UF/IFAS researchers are members of the six-person task force.

Tom Frazer, who leads the task force, is a professor of aquatic ecology and has served as director of the UF/IFAS School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Frazer as Florida’s first chief science officer in April as part of an initiative to address environmental challenges in the state.

Wendy Graham is the Carl S. Swisher eminent scholar in water resources in the department of agricultural and biological engineering. She is also director of the UF Water Institute, a campus-wide interdisciplinary program working to address water sustainability.

“I’m glad to see UF/IFAS researchers collaborating with scientists from institutions around the state to solve this complex problem. Dr. Frazer and Dr. Graham bring the breadth and depth of UF/IFAS research and expertise to this important issue in Florida,” said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources.

Blue-green algae naturally occur in freshwater systems, such as lakes, ponds and rivers. A harmful algal bloom happens when concentrations of blue-green algae are high. These blooms kill fish, deter recreation and tourism, and can impact human health. Algal blooms are more common where there are excess nutrients in the water. These nutrients come from home and agricultural run-off, stormwater run-off and leaky septic tanks.

The task force provides science-based recommendations to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as it develops projects and policies to reduce nutrients in Florida water bodies and curb harmful algal blooms, according the DEP website.

For more information about the Blue-Green Algae Task Force, visit https://floridadep.gov/Blue-GreenAlgaeTaskForce.

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