|In September 2005, the Florida Department of Health (FDoH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) sponsored a meeting entitled, "Florida Public Health Meeting on Harmful Algae and Their
Effects". This meeting was attended by representatives of numerous Florida state agencies, local health units, universities, and
private laboratories. The goal of this meeting was to provide the attendees with updated information related to Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).
At the conclusion of the meeting, attendees were encouraged to comment on what HAB-related issues they perceived to need the most
immediate attention. Several attendees commented on the need to standardize the collection and analysis of cyanobacteria (blue-green
algae) samples in order to allow the exchange of more comparable data between agencies. As a result of these comments, the
Cyanobacteria Sampling and Analysis Standardization Working Group was formed. The working group was made up of technical
representatives from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), FDoH, FWCC, the Water Management Districts
(WMDs), several local county health units, and a private laboratory. This working group, organized by the FDEP Bureau of Laboratories,
began a series of teleconferences in November, 2005. One of the first efforts the group participated in was a survey. The intent of
the survey was to gather information about the workgroup participants and their interests in cyanobacteria. From the
results of the survey, other tasks were initiated that addressed interests in standardizing field and laboratory methods. One of
which was a
holding time study for microcystin samples.
In May 2006, FDEP Deputy Secretary Mike Sole, on behalf of FDEP Secretary Colleen Castille, requested that the FDEP Bureau of
Laboratories draft Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs)
for the collection and analysis of cyanobacteria samples. All entities collecting or processing cyanobacteria samples for a
Florida state agency would then be requested to use these SOPs in order to improve data comparability between agencies this HAB
Questions related to these documents should be addressed to
David Whiting, Environmental Administrator, FDEP Bureau of Laboratories (850) 245-8191.
Cyanobacteria Sampling and Analysis Workgroup Survey Results: