Florida Gulf Coast University researchers began the process this week to pursue funding for an initiative focusing on red tide research.
Chairman of Marine and Ecological Sciences, Dr. Greg Tolley, said FGCU has the brainpower, will and location—being just a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico—to become a leading water quality research facility.
Tolley said FGCU researchers submitted a paper to the university's board of trustees outlining how much would be needed to start the initiative. It is the first step toward making a legislative budget request.
"We’ve asked for 9.3 million dollars to kick this off with about 4 million dollars recurring after that," Tolley said.
Tolley said the money would be used to acquire cutting edge technology, instruments and vessels that would help researchers gather and analyze samples.
The researchers hope to answer questions about the long-term health and environmental impacts of red tide and to make advances in the prediction and prevention of future algal blooms.
If approved by the board of trustees, the proposal will move on for review by the board of governors that oversees the Florida State University System, before being submitted to legislators.