Florida Department of Environmental Protection Innovative Technology Grant#13

Integrating Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Data Access Across Platforms and Establishing a Virtual HAB Information Center.

Overview of Project:

Florida has experienced severe and long-lasting harmful algal blooms (HAB) of multiple microalgal and cyanobacteria species in fresh, estuarine, and nearshore oceanic waters. The spatial and temporal variability of these HAB events, coupled with a diverse array of taxa have presented several challenges to the effective, timely, and accurate communication of bloom conditions, trends, and potential ecological risks.

The 2016 “super bloom” and fish kill in the Indian River Lagoon was caused by Aueroumbra lagunisis, commonly referred to as the Texas brown tide. The event brought increased awareness of the need to evaluate opportunities for enhanced data sharing and communications among inter-agency and intra-agency staff and the general public. The Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (IRLNEP), St. John’s River Water Management District (SJRWMD), Florida Atlantic University – Harbour Branch Oceanographic Institute (FAU-HBOI), and StormCenter Communications (SCCI) decided to address the need of communicating HAB data by testing a technology called GeoCollaborate.

This website is dedicated to the entirety of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s (FDEP) Innovative Technology Grant # 13: Integrating Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Data Access Across Platforms and Establishing a Virtual HAB Information Center.

What is GeoCollaborate?

The GeoCollaborate® software as a service (SaaS) application provides real-time geospatial trusted data visualization, data sharing, and collaboration across disparate systems and platforms. GeoCollaborate was developed through StormCenter Communications, Inc. under the NASA and NOAA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts. GeoCollaborate has completed Phase III of Research & Development on it’s digital map and SaaS (Web GIS) technology.

For more information about GeoCollaborate visit SCCI website here.

Summary of Activities Completed by Task:

Task 1: Planning, Project Initiation, and Subcontracting

The IRLNEP and project partners utilized the term of Task 1 to hire a GIS Professional, obtain GeoCollaborate license agreements, purchase necessary software/ hardware, develop a quality assurance manual for data integration, and communicate on the progress with the IRL-Council boards. Below are links to products created during Task 1 of the FDEP INV13 grant which occurred between July 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021.

Powerpoint to IRL Council Board of Directors: Here

Task 1 Deliverable: Here

Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP): Here

Quarter Report 1: Here

Quarter Report 2: Here

Task 2: Data acquisition, Integration, and Testing

During Task 2, the IRLNEP and project partners started to identify HAB data, like meteorology, hydrology, water quality and taxa-cell count data from multiple sources in the IRL. The organizations included St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), the Florida Department of Environmental Management (FDEP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC), Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACs), Florida Atlantic University – Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, and the Florida Institute of Technology. Internally, data was reviewed for quality in accordance with the QA Manual (Task 1), formatted, and integrated into 3 GeoCollaborate Instance #1: Data Acquisition, Internal Testing, and GeoCollaborate Training, and tested for its ability to be shared across platforms. Preliminary case studies based on data for HABs and water quality was developed and communicated to internal and external stakeholders through team meetings and meetings with the Department. Testing of data sets, data access, and sharing with stakeholders will be delivered through initial GeoCollaborate sessions that demonstrate a preliminary public-facing instance. Below are links to products created during Task 2 of the FDEP INV13 grant which occurred between July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2022.

Quarter Report 3:Here

Task 2 Delivery: Here

Storymap of Data Testing : Here

Task 3: Instances of GeoCollaborate Information Sessions for the IRL

The Grantee will give a minimum of four instance sessions using Instance #2: Communicating the Bloom – IRL HAB Hindcast and a minimum of four sessions using Instance #3: IRL HAB Emergency Scenario Planning and Response that demonstrate the capacity and value of GeoCollaborate as a HAB communication platform that showcases the ability of GeoCollaborate to shorten the timeline from microalgal data collection and synthesis to enhance communication of conditions and trends to the public and community leaders, and as a planning and response platform, by delivering sessions to the IRLNEP Management Conference. This internal peer review will include the IRLNEP Management Board; Science, Technology, Engineering and Modeling (STEM) Advisory Committee; Citizen’s Advisory Committee; and IRL Council Board of Directors (IRLNEP Policy Board). The target audience comprises scientists, professionals who manage coastal and estuarine resources, and other regional stakeholders. The Grantee will develop and deliver a draft report that incorporates input from the IRL Management Conference, along with any Department comments. Below are links to products created during Task 2 of the FDEP INV13 grant which occurred between July 1, 2020, and April 30, 2022.

Task 3 Deliverable: Here

Quarter Report 4: Here

BASIS 7-ANEP (Feb 22, 2022) (Recording Starts 13:31:00): Here

IRL Symposium Poster (April 2022): Here

PowerPoint to FDEP Staff on May 20, 2022: Here

Instance 2 GeoCollaborate: Putting HAB Data to Work: January 10 & 11, 2022,

YouTube Link: Here

PowerPoint Presentation:

Instance 3: Informing Harmful Algal Bloom Emergency Response: May 12 & 13, 2022

YouTube Link: Here

PowerPoint Presentation:

Task 4: Development of a Communication Framework for a Florida HAB Information Center

The IRLNEP and project partners expanded the spatial range of interest to the entire state of Florida. The areas of interest included Lake Okeechobee and Tampa Bay. Data came from trusted sources like the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, South Florida Water Management District, and Southwest Florida Water Management District with targets including Florida Gulf coast HABs and Lake Okeechobee HABs. GeoCollaborate Instance #4: Communicating the Bloom – Florida Statewide as the demonstration of a Florida HAB Information Center. The Grantee will prepare a draft Final Report summarizing the results of the project, including all tasks in this Grant Work Plan. The Grantee will deliver a minimum of two GeoCollaborate sessions showcasing statewide HAB data to a targeted audience of state agency leaders and other key partners and stakeholders. Below are links to products created during Task 4 of the FDEP INV13 grant which occurred between July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2023.

Instance 4: Communicating the Bloom -Florida Statewide

Flyer: Here

YouTube Video: Here

Quarter Report 5: Here

Quarter Report 6: Here

Final Report: Awaiting Approval from FDEP

Videos

Project Partners