Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and University of South Alabama, will host a free two-hour community roundtable on harmful algal blooms (HABs) on November 6 from 4-6 pm in the ballroom of the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Ala. This event is part of the larger 10th U.S. HABs Symposium going on November 3-8, 2019 at the same venue.
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant science outreach team member Missy Partyka said, “We’re looking forward to hearing a diversity of experiences and ideas from not just stakeholders that have been impacted by HABs, but from researchers that study them and concerned community members who have questions about them. This is an important issue in the northern Gulf that we’re trying to draw more attention to in order to both raise awareness and increase the amount of research funding that is directed our way.”
All of the states that border the northern Gulf of Mexico have experienced HABs in recent years, with Mississippi beaches only reopening in early October following a summer-long blue-green algae event. Beach and larger water closures impact many groups, such as commercial fishers or tourism professionals, who rely on a healthy Gulf for their livelihoods. This workshop will allow stakeholders to share their concerns about HABs directly with the scientists who study them. Attendees and researchers can vocalize priorities and discuss how best to prepare for and recover from HABs. Input from the meeting will help scientists and the groups who fund them prioritize future HAB research.
The HABs community roundtable will be immediately followed by an oyster social at Big Beach Brewing Company from 6:30-8 pm. Click here to register for the event. Please direct any questions about the event to Missy Partyka at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alison Robertson at email@example.com.
Featured photo: Beach closures like this one in Bay St. Louis during the summer of 2019, whether due to elevated bacteria levels or harmful algal blooms, can impact the livelihoods of those working in the seafood or tourism industries, among others. (Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium)