Public health responses to toxic cyanobacterial blooms

Perspectives from the 2016 Florida event

James S. Metcalf, Sandra Anne Banack, James T. Powell, Fiona J.M. Tymm, Susan J. Murch, Larry E Brand, Paul Alan Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In June 2016, massive cyanobacterial blooms occurred in the St. Lucie River in Florida, caused by nutrient and cyanobacterial- laden water releases from Lake Okeechobee. We independently collected and analyzed bloom material for cyanotoxin diversity and concentrations. The concentrations of microcystins, potent hepatotoxins, present in the bloom material greatly exceeded World Health Organization Guideline Values for drinking and recreational water. We also detected the neurotoxins anatoxin-a(S) and β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). The Florida State Governor declared a state of emergency, but many affected aquatic recreational areas in St. Lucie County remained open during the bloom eventwithout adequate hazard notification to citizens. During the bloom event, issues with preparedness, communication, sampling, analysis, closures and contingencies were observed.We suggest better ways that cyanobacterial bloom events can be predicted, managed, and mitigated in the future throughout the world. As similar problems with cyanobacterial bloom frequency and occurrence present worldwide, understanding governmental responses to the 2016 Florida incident can help in the development of effective mitigation and management strategies for future bloom events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-932
Number of pages14
JournalWater Policy
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

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public health
algal bloom
event
state of emergency
water
WHO
contingency
incident
river
citizen
communication
management
Values
World Health Organization
drinking
mitigation
hazard
nutrient
lake
sampling

Keywords

  • Contingency
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Eutrophication
  • Mitigation
  • Response
  • Toxins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Metcalf, J. S., Banack, S. A., Powell, J. T., Tymm, F. J. M., Murch, S. J., Brand, L. E., & Cox, P. A. (2018). Public health responses to toxic cyanobacterial blooms: Perspectives from the 2016 Florida event. Water Policy, 20(5), 919-932. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2018.012

Public health responses to toxic cyanobacterial blooms : Perspectives from the 2016 Florida event. / Metcalf, James S.; Banack, Sandra Anne; Powell, James T.; Tymm, Fiona J.M.; Murch, Susan J.; Brand, Larry E; Cox, Paul Alan.

In: Water Policy, Vol. 20, No. 5, 01.10.2018, p. 919-932.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Metcalf, JS, Banack, SA, Powell, JT, Tymm, FJM, Murch, SJ, Brand, LE & Cox, PA 2018, 'Public health responses to toxic cyanobacterial blooms: Perspectives from the 2016 Florida event', Water Policy, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 919-932. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2018.012
Metcalf, James S. ; Banack, Sandra Anne ; Powell, James T. ; Tymm, Fiona J.M. ; Murch, Susan J. ; Brand, Larry E ; Cox, Paul Alan. / Public health responses to toxic cyanobacterial blooms : Perspectives from the 2016 Florida event. In: Water Policy. 2018 ; Vol. 20, No. 5. pp. 919-932.
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