HAB General Information
This section defines harmful algal blooms and red tides.
A harmful algal bloom (HAB) is the proliferation of a toxic or
Florida red tides occur almost every year in the Gulf of Mexico. The Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, produces a toxin that can kill marine animals and affect humans. Scientists have studied this organism for more than 50 years.
Taxonomists revise species descriptions and classifications as
scientific techniques improve. Karenia brevis, the new name for
Florida's red tide organism, has undergone several taxonomic
Cyanobacteria (or blue-green algae) are commonly found in Florida's lakes, rivers, and estuaries. Some species can produce toxins that affect public health and the environment.
Microcystis is found naturally at low concentrations in freshwater systems and sometimes in low salinity areas. It occasionally forms a harmful algal bloom (HAB). Microcystis produces a toxin that can affect human and animal health.
Natural marine biotoxins can be harmful to humans and can cause
numerous illnesses or even death. However, toxins and other natural
compounds from marine animals can also be helpful and used to treat
a variety of ailments.
Bioluminescence is the chemical production of light by plants and
animals. Most, but not all, luminescent organisms are found in the
sea. Learn more about bioluminescence here!
Do you have questions about Florida's red tide? Find the answers here.