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Blue-Green Algae Task Force

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The Blue-Green Algae Task Force will play an important role in our Protecting Florida Together mission and will focus on expediting water quality improvements in the next five years. The key focus of the Task Force is to support key funding and restoration initiatives, such as prioritizing solutions and making recommendations to expedite nutrient reductions in Lake Okeechobee and the downstream estuaries.

The Task Force will identify opportunities to fund priority projects with state, local and federal funding. These recommended projects should build upon DEP’s updated Basin Management Action Plans (BMAP) data, and the Task Force will review and prioritize projects that will provide the largest and most meaningful nutrient reductions in key waterbodies.

Innovative Technology Grant Solicitation

Task Force Recommendation

Previous Meeting(s)

Monday, October 7, 2019 at 8 a.m. 
University of Florida
Martin Levin Advocacy Center, Room 106
309 Village Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611

Meeting Materials

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 9 a.m. 
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 9 a.m

Due to Hurricane Dorian, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection postponed the fourth meeting of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force (Rescheduled from Friday, August 30, 2019 due to Hurricane Dorian).
Florida Gulf Coast University, Kapnick Center
4940 Bayshore Drive, Naples, FL 34112

Meeting Materials

August 30, 2019 at 9 a.m. – Rescheduled due to Hurricane Dorian
University of Florida Levin College of Law, Martin Levin Advocacy Center, Room 106
309 Village Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611

August 1, 2019 at 9 a.m. - (view Video Archive: part I, part II)

Florida Atlantic University
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Johnson Education Center
5600 US 1 North
Fort Pierce, FL 34946

Meeting Materials

July 1, 2019 at 9 a.m. (view Video Archive)

Lee County School Board
2855 Colonial Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Meeting Materials

June 12, 2019 at 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (view Video Archive)


Task Force Members

Dr. Evelyn Gaiser, Florida International UniversityDr. Evelyn Gaiser, Florida International University

Dr. Evelyn Gaiser holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kent State University, a master’s in animal ecology from Iowa State University and a doctorate in ecology from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Gaiser is an aquatic ecologist whose research is focused on understanding how algae can be used as “sentinels” of the effects of long-term changes in climate and land-use in aquatic ecosystems. While her work focuses on aquatic systems of South Florida, she and her students also conduct international studies to expand findings contextually.

Research in Dr. Gaiser’s lab has informed the progress of Everglades restoration and is integrated into the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program, which she has led since 2007. 

Dr. Wendy Graham, University of FloridaDr. Wendy Graham, University of Florida

Dr. Wendy Graham is the Carl S. Swisher Eminent Scholar in Water Resources in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Director of the Water Institute at the University of Florida.

Her research focuses on integrated hydrologic modeling; groundwater resources evaluation and remediation; evaluation of impacts of agricultural production on surface and groundwater quality; evaluation of impacts of climate variability and climate change on hydrologic systems; and stochastic modeling and data assimilation.

Dr. Graham holds a B.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Michael Parsons, Florida Gulf Coast University

Dr. Michael Parsons is a professor of marine science at Florida Gulf Coast University and director of the Coastal Watershed Institute and Vester Field Station. He was a State of Louisiana Board of Regents Fellow and received his doctorate from Louisiana State University in 1996 in biological oceanography.

Dr. Parsons received the Outstanding Mentor award from the University of Hawaii-Hilo in 2001 and the Senior Faculty Scholarship Excellence Award at Florida Gulf Coast University in 2013. 

His ultimate goal is to educate students and the public in the field of coastal ecology, particularly in terms of how human activities impact ecosystem health, as well as how these impacts in turn influence human health and well-being.

Dr. Valerie Paul, Smithsonian

Dr. Valerie Paul Valerie Paul has served as Director of the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida, since 2002. She received her B.A. from the University of California San Diego in 1979 with majors in Biology and Studies in Chemical Ecology and her Ph.D. in Marine Biology in 1985 from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Valerie joined the faculty of the University of Guam Marine Laboratory in 1985, served as Director of the Laboratory from 1991-1994, and as full Professor from 1993-2002.

Valerie's research interests include marine chemical ecology, marine plant-herbivore interactions, coral reef ecology, harmful algal blooms and marine natural products. She studies the ecological roles of marine toxins and other bioactive compounds (natural products) from marine plants and animals and their natural functions in the marine environment.

She has specialized in studying the ecology and chemistry of blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) blooms, including looking for beneficial biomedical uses of the compounds.

Dr. James Sullivan, Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch

Dr. James Sullivan, executive director of FAU’s Harbor Branch, is an expert on marine ecosystem health. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in biological oceanography with specializations in phytoplankton physiology and ecology, as well as bio-optics and biophysics, from the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.

Dr. Sullivan’s research interests include biological and physical mechanisms that control the spatial-temporal dynamics of phytoplankton/zooplankton populations in the coastal oceans; harmful algal bloom (red tide) dynamics; bioluminescence in the ocean; and the development and use of optical and autonomous sampling instrumentation and analytical techniques needed to study these complex processes.

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