FGCU Water School professor helps study harmful algae across the country

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne

We all remember blue-green algae blooms that plagued our waters. Now, there are concerns about harmful algae like this across the country.

FGCU Water School professor, Doctor Barry Rosen studies water from all over the country, including the State of Oregon.

“Their drinking water supply is very, very tied to those water bodies that have algae blooms,” he said.

The Eugene Water and Electric Board tapped into Rosen’s expertise to get more answers about its water.

An environmental specialist collects the water, “and actually sends it out the same day, live, a couple of ice packs, not frozen, just a couple of ice packs, and they arrive the next morning,” Rosen said.

David Donahue hopes Rosen can pinpoint the type of cyanobacteria and its toxicity.

“We see this along the coasts, we see this in the valleys, we see this up in the high country, desert areas, so it’s pretty universal. You can find cyanobacteria just about anywhere,” Donahue said.

It’s all in an effort to protect the drinking water for the people of Eugene, Oregon.

The goal behind Rosen’s testing is to give an early warning to drinking water plants if there are toxin producers present and to make sure toxins do not enter finished drinking water.

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