Gov. Ron DeSantis has named Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) marine science professor Mike Parsons to the Blue-Green Algae Task Force. Parsons is one of five researchers on the panel, joining scientists from the University of Florida, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University and the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.
“I am honored to represent not only FGCU, but Southwest Florida in general, on the Blue-Green Algae Task Force,” said Parsons, a professor at The Water School at FGCU and Vester Field Station director. “These blooms have been of great concern locally, and more action needs to be taken to manage these harmful algal-bloom events. I look forward to serving so that we can improve our response and management actions when these bloom events return.”
During Monday’s announcement at the Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, DeSantis said, “This is something that as we’re getting resources, financial resources to bear on the problem, and making good choices, we want to make sure those choices are informed by the best science and the best research available.”
DeSantis originally called for the response team in an executive order he signed during a visit to FGCU’s Vester Field Station on Jan. 10. According to the order, the task force is “charged with focusing on expediting progress toward reducing the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years.”
“Clearly the governor appreciates the expertise FGCU brings to the critical water issues facing the state,” said FGCU President Michael Martin. “Dr. Parsons represents that expertise at the highest possible level. We’re proud he will participate on this task force and confident he will make significant contributions.”
For more information about The Water School at FGCU, visit https://fgcu.edu/TheWaterSchool.