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Summit to address public health risks of harmful algal blooms

June 12, 2019
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Calusa Waterkeeper invites the public and healthcare professionals to a public water summit on June 24 about the health effects of harmful algal blooms.

The event, called "Public Health Alert + Florida Water," will run from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, at 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers.

It will include a screening of the documentary "Toxic Puzzle," narrated by Harrison Ford. An expert panel, including two scientists featured in the film, will discuss why harmful algal blooms have become a public health concern, where to find key information as the threat evolves, and what Southwest Florida residents can do to help safeguard themselves and their families while fighting for change.

A question-and-answer session with the experts will follow the panel presentation.

"The health risks are becoming more apparent as new scientific research emerges," John Cassani, with the Calusa Waterkeeper, said. "We're doing everything we can to get the word out and let everyone know what they can do to make a difference in this fight."

The panelists will include Cassani and two University of Miami scientists - Dr. Walter Bradley, chair emeritus of the university's neurology department, and marine biology and ecology professor Dr. Larry Brand - both of whom were featured in "Toxic Puzzle."

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is funding the program through a grant awarded in response to an inquiry from Calusa Waterkeeper President-elect Ruth Watkins. A second public forum set for Aug. 5 will feature the world premiere of an original documentary on the subject that Calusa Waterkeeper is producing, entitled "Troubled Waters."

A buffet dinner will be included in the $20 ticket price for the June 24 event, with the proceeds going toward the non-profit Calusa Waterkeeper's scientific research and educational outreach efforts.

Tickets for the summit are available at https://bit.ly/2wAkgim.

Sponsorships are also available. For details, email atkc@calusawaterkeeper.org.

For more information, visit calusawaterkeeper.org and facebook.com/calusawaterkeeper.

 
 

 

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