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Article Title

Public Awareness and Knowledge of Red Tide Blooms

Volume

46

Issue

2

Abstract

We measured the knowledge of Southwest Florida residents regarding red tides by surveying 1,006 randomly selected individuals. Although 89% were aware of red tides, 72% erroneously believed that finfish and crustaceans were unsafe to eat and that waters were unsafe for swimming during a red tide. Because respondents primarily rely on newspapers and television (70% and 62%, respectively), these media should be pursued in Extension efforts to correct these misunderstandings and reduce revenue losses to local businesses. Costly brochures, workshops, and Internet sites do not warrant additional educational efforts at this time because only 6% of respondents identified those sources.

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