The threat is real, and the message is vital. Calusa Waterkeeper will continue its series of forums about the negative public health effects of harmful algal blooms with “Public Health Alert – Florida Water Summit 2” on Monday, Aug. 5 from 5:30-9 p.m. at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre on 1380 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. The latest event, a follow up to the town hall held on June 24, features the world premiere of “TROUBLED WATERS,” an original documentary produced by Calusa Waterkeeper, and an all-star panel of world-renowned scientists and medical professionals.
The film takes a hyperlocal look at the public health risks associated with harmful algal blooms found in South Florida waterways. It includes interviews with physicians and patients suffering from conditions tied to harmful algal blooms, as well as prominent scientists who present cutting-edge research demonstrating the link between algae exposure and health problems. The documentary aims to educate the general public and the health care industry on the health risks associated with acute and chronic exposure.
“‘TROUBLED WATERS’ makes it clear that harmful algal blooms are a public health issue that require action on the local, state and federal levels,” Calusa Waterkeeper Executive Director K.C. Schulberg said. “This is a can’t-miss event for the public at large and for members of the medical community concerned about what’s in our water here in Southwest Florida.”
Many of the scientists interviewed in the film will appear at the Aug. 5 summit as part of a panel discussion following the screening. Among the panelists are Dr. Walter Bradley, chair emeritus of the University of Miami neurology department; Dr. Larry Brand, a marine biology and ecology professor at the university; Dr. David Davis, a neurology professor at the university; Dr. Malcolm McFarland and epidemiologist Adam Schaefer of the Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute; emergency room teaching professor Dr. Arthur Diskin; otolaryngologist and surgeon Dr. Robert Zarranz; Waterkeeper Ranger Holley Rauen, a registered nurse, and more.
“This documentary and panel session combined will present some of the latest local research on the threats harmful algal blooms present,” Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said. “This event will communicate important information for healthcare providers and the public thanks to the breaking research captured in our documentary.”
A buffet dinner is included in the $20 ticket price, with proceeds going toward the nonprofit Calusa Waterkeeper’s scientific research and educational outreach efforts. Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/2KIDkUT. A discount is available for Calusa Waterkeeper members.
Sponsors include Lee Health, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and CONRIC PR & Marketing. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Email Schulberg at email@example.com to find out how to get involved.
For the latest on Southwest Florida’s water, visit calusawaterkeeper.org or on social media at facebook.com/calusawaterkeeper, twitter.com/calusawater or instagram.com/calusawater/.