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Episode 1102: Toxic Waters

Florida experiences many types of harmful algal blooms, some of them annually. Several species of algae, like sargassum, aren’t toxic, but can cause economic and environmental stress when they pile up on beaches and clog up coastlines. Others, like red tide and blue-green algae, release neurotoxins, causing massive wildlife kills and affecting beachgoers.

While residents demand answers from their local and state officials, scientists are studying what causes the blooms in the first place and what needs to be done to stop them. Experts are also uncovering alarming evidence that some of these harmful algal blooms have serious impacts on human health, making their research more critical than ever.


Meet the experts featured in this episode.

Special Thanks:


Homewood Suites by Hilton Sarasota

3470 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL
(941) 365-7300


Hutchinson Island Plaza Hotel & Suites
1230 Seaway Drive
Hutchinson Island
Fort Pierce, FL 34949
(772) 595-0711


Looe Key Reef Resort & Dive Center
27340 Overseas Hwy
Ramrod Key, FL 33042
(305) 872-2215

Image Credits

Changing Seas would like to thank the following individuals and institutions who kindly allowed their footage, images and other media to be used in this production:

Jeff Gammons 

Dana Leworthy
Save Our Seabirds, Inc. 

Carlos Monzon-Aguirre 

Mote Marine Laboratory 

Joe Nickelson
Mote Marine Laboratory 

David Pilston
Save Our Seabirds, Inc.

Dick Powell 

Helena Svedin 

Vanessa and Johnny: Photography and Video 


Allison Baird
Mote Marine Laboratory 

Kate Boicourt 

Jose Castro, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries 

Bianca Cruz 

Meaghan Faletti 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 

Conor Goulding
Mote Marine Laboratory 

Rachel Ionata 

Brian Lapointe, Ph.D. 

Vince Lovko
Mote Marine Laboratory 

Malcolm McFarland, Ph.D. 

Terry Ross 

James Sullivan, Ph.D. 

Benjamin Szentpaly 

Martha Watkins Gilkes

Special Thanks:

Diana Rose Udel 

South Florida Museum

Funding for this episode of Changing Seas was provided by:

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