Mote says they will have technology to fight red tide in the next few years

Updated: Apr. 18, 2019 at 7:58 AM EDT
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SARASOTA (WWSB) - Mote Marine Lab’s CEO and President, Dr. Michael Crosby, said with the recent development of their Red Tide Institute, there will be major progress in research and technology development to fight the red tide by the end of the year.

He also said within three to five years, he fully expects that Mote will have technologies developed to battle the red tide.

A Mote spokesperson points out that red tide is an algae species native to the Gulf of Mexico, so it will never fully be eliminated from the water because it is part of the natural ecosystem.

However, Mote is looking into ways to decrease the devastating impacts of the red tide not only by destroying red tide cells but also by preventing those cells to form.

There are two methods a Mote Spokesperson said could help control the red tide. The first is Ozonation, which is a chemical water treatment. This is something that Mote actually already does to remove red tide from the water that enters their aquarium and the process has been proven to destroy red tide algae and toxins in field studies. The second thing they are looking into is an advanced technology micro-clay application that attaches to the red tide and brings the cells to the bottom.

Mote is committed to doing a lot of research and tests before actually using any of these treatments because they don't want to end up doing more harm to the ecosystem.

The Red Tide Institute was created through a $1 million donation from The Andrew and Judith Economos Charitable Foundation and recently received a five year grant for $751,487 from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.

Along with the donations, if a new proposed bill in the Florida senate passes, FWC in partnership with Mote would receive $3 million a year from the government for research.

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