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Public Forum Explores Health Impacts Caused by Harmful Algal Blooms

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Tara Calligan / WGCU
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K.C. Schulberg and Dr. Paul Alan Cox

Southwest Floridians have unfortunately become well familiar with harmful algal blooms, after last year’s massive blue-green algae bloom that started in Lake Okeechobee and wound up choking the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary. And, the nearly year and a half long offshore red tide bloom that stretched from Collier County to Tampa Bay. The increased public awareness has driven increased attention from researchers and medical professionals into the possible health effects toxins produced by the blooms might be causing to people.

Tonight in Fort Myers, Calusa Waterkeeper is hosting an event called Public Health Alert - Florida Water Summit 2. It features the premiere of a new documentary called "Troubled Waters" that includes interviews with leading scientists and medical professionals who are actively examining links between exposure to harmful algae blooms and illness.

There will be a Q&A session after the screening with a number of experts who are featured in the film, including world-renowned scientist, Dr. Paul Alan Cox, Director of the Brain Chemistry Labs in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Dr. Cox joins us in studio to talk about his research. We're also joined by K.C. Schulberg, he is Executive Director of Calusa Waterkeeper, and produced and directed the new film.