With a Karenia brevis bloom persisting in parts of the Southwest Florida coast for nearly all of 2021 — and even affecting parts of the Florida Panhandle in the fall — the GCOOS HABscope volunteers played the most important role in supporting the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast. Crunching the numbers from 2021, we can’t help but be impressed with the HABscope Team’s pretty amazing engagement!
Volunteers collected more than 5,400 water sample videos and uploaded them to the Forecast system. Samples came from 89 different sites.
HABscope Coordinator Grant Craig especially wanted to acknowledge the team’s top three contributors:
- Lindsey Flynn and her team from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium uploaded videos nearly every day from multiple sites, offering up 535 sample videos! They’ve been on the HABscope team since 2018.
- Pradeepa Siva of Naples, Florida, came in second. She contributed 469 observations to HABscope in 2021 and collects samples just about each day while paddleboarding at Doctors Pass in Naples. Pradeepa joined the HABscope volunteer team in early 2021 and hit the ground running.
- Karl Kaukis of Port Charlotte, Florida, joined the volunteer team in early 2020 and has been uploading videos ever since! In 2021, Karl contributed 362 observations from Stump Pass State Park and even provided daily fish kill pictures during peak bloom periods.
HABscope depends on dedicated volunteers like these to provide large numbers of observations at sites along the Florida and Texas Coast in support of the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast.