Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota has created a free smartphone app for Florida boaters to report red tide algae blooms, the first red tide reporting app of its kind. Karenia brevis, the species prevalent in the Gulf of Mexico along the west coast of Florida, sometimes blooms out of control, and its toxins kill fish, shellfish, mammals, and birds. It also impacts public health.
The new Mote Citizen Science Information Collaboration (CSIC) app is for Android and iOS smartphones and is listed as “Mote CSIC” in the app store. See something? Smell something? Send in a report. Real-time reports from boaters help scientists from Mote and Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute pinpoint the location, confirm the type of bloom and determine the proper response.
Another new-tech reporting tool is a little, yellow submarine nicknamed Waldo. Waldo carries BreveBuster, a Mote-designed instrument that detects red tide. Mote scientists can launch Waldo and steer it to a red tide bloom and determine its shape, size, and intensity. mote.org
By Bill Aucoin, Southern Boating March 2018
Photo Courtesy of Mote Marine Laboratory