Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State of Florida Signs MOU with South Korean Research Agency to Promote Information Sharing on Harmful Algal Blooms

green algae on the surface of the water. flowering water as background or texture
Mykola Mazuryk/Mykola Mazuryk -
green algae on the surface of the water. flowering water as background or texture

Florida - Monday June 10, 2024: The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research to strengthen international collaboration on harmful algal bloom management and response, including for blue-green algae.

This MOU is a direct result of the trade mission Governor DeSantis led to South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Israel to grow economic opportunities and expand collaboration.

To read the MOU, click here.

“Expanding Florida’s capabilities to respond to harmful algal blooms helps us protect our economy and keep our natural resources healthy,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida and South Korea have a strong economic partnership, particularly in the technology sector, and through this MOU, both partners will further ongoing research to combat harmful algal blooms like blue-green algae.”

Harmful algal blooms significantly hurt Florida’s coastal economy and the health of Florida’s water resources. Both the State of Florida and South Korea are committed to developing cutting-edge strategies to prevent, detect, cleanup, and mitigate these types of blooms. This shared work will further the state’s capabilities to effectively respond to and prevent future harmful algal blooms that impact the state, like blue-green algae.

“Florida’s unique environmental challenges demand bold solutions, and international cooperation is a significant step in that direction,” said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “We remain steadfastly committed to protecting Florida, and I look forward to a productive partnership that will enhance that mission by collaborating with some of South Korea’s finest scientific minds in our fight against harmful algal blooms.”

“Through this partnership, we're not just sharing knowledge; we're forging a path to resilience against environmental challenges,” said Hanseung Kum, President of the National Institute of Environmental Research in South Korea. “The collaboration between South Korea and Florida highlights our deep commitment to deploying science and innovation in the battle against harmful algal blooms, ensuring healthier ecosystems for our communities.”

“I am particularly proud of this partnership, which signals our commitment to a wide range of science-based strategies toward keeping our waterbodies pristine,” said Florida Chief Science Officer Dr. Mark Rains. “This agreement will not only benefit Floridians and Koreans, but the greater scientific community.”

This MOU establishes a framework for collaboration, mutual learning, and sharing technology, including:

This MOU establishes a framework for collaboration, mutual learning, and sharing technology, including:

  • Cooperation on the issue of harmful algal bloom reduction, including reducing nutrient loading to waterbodies; monitoring, modeling, and risk assessment; and innovative treatment technologies.
  • The exchange of scientific and technical information through the transmission of data, reports, publications, and presentations.

Governor DeSantis led an international trade mission in April 2023 to meet with Florida’s economic partners abroad and expand both economic and technological opportunities between Florida and Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Israel. Recently, Governor DeSantis also signed an MOU between Florida and the United Kingdom.

Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis created the Blue-Green Algae Task Force to address the issue of recurring harmful algal blooms in the State of Florida. The state has also invested $65 million in a diverse portfolio of innovative technologies to mitigate the effects and impacts of harmful algal blooms.