Florida red tides, a harmful algal bloom (HAB) caused by the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, are a near annual occurrence in the Gulf of Mexico along the west coast of Florida. Occasionally, blooms can reach the Panhandle and east coast of Florida. These blooms can have negative impacts on Florida’s wildlife, economy, and public health. Despite the frequency of these red tide events and the amount of information publicly available, there is a need to improve communication to ensure public safety and protect the local economy.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) funded project Development of a Red Tide Communication Plan for Florida is a collaborative effort between the Florida Sea Grant Program at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS).
We recognize that there are several existing red tide websites, and that there is no need to recreate the wheel. These resources are filled with useful information; however, they may not be meeting the needs of you – the public. We are conducting a survey to evaluate these existing websites and determine what improvements could be made.
Residents and visitors to Florida 18 years of age and older are invited to participate in an online survey to gather feedback on existing red tide websites. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three existing red tide websites. The survey is designed to assess the aesthetics, navigation and user experience, and the usefulness of the information provided on the websites. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Participants will be asked to navigate to an external red tide website while completing the survey. We suggest participants complete the survey while using a computer so that two windows can be open at the same time on one screen.
There are no expected risks or benefits to participating in this survey, and participants will not receive any compensation from the University of Florida. Participation is voluntary, and responses will be recorded as anonymous. For more information about this project please visit floridaseagrant.org/redtideplan or contact Lisa Krimsky, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for helping to improve Florida’s red tide communication!