Reef installation to fight algae and red tide
On Wednesday afternoon, a new tool was put in the Gulf of Mexico to monitor the water and support Red Tide research, human health, and the ecosystem.
Ten miles offshore and 30 feet underwater, giant cement blocks will help scientists better understand what’s happening in the water.
“So the importance of Kimberley’s reef is it’s an underwater platform. It’s in a fixed location. We can put instrumentation out there. We can study animals. We can study algae and plant life all at the same spot. And we can study it over time,” professor in The Water School at FGCU, Mike Parsons, said.
Eighteen culverts weighing more than 19,000 pounds each provide fascinating research opportunities and habitats for marine life.
“And the fish are gonna be like, hey, look, here’s a new home. This is the new IT neighborhood,” Parsons said.
And the team can better understand how those fish, crabs, and other creatures respond to change.
“We can monitor for red tide and the impacts of red tide,” Parsons said. “How do fish populations react to red tie? Do they move away? Do they, unfortunately, die? When do they come back?”
And those are big questions while Southwest Florida deals with a Red Tide outbreak and dead fish scattered in the waters off Bonita Beach. Sensors and instruments on the buoys monitor oceanographic conditions on the Gulf and reef.