The Gulf of Mexico Alliance Water Resources Team is expanding the understanding of the economic impacts on water quality. The Gulf Star project supported by FMI will address harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the Mississippi Sound.

In 2018, the Water Resources Team initiated a project to understand the financial impacts of HABs in Florida. They worked with economists at the Balmoral Group who quantified the linkages between economic outcomes and the Gulf coast health in six metro areas.

Following this same model, the expanded project will investigate the linkages between the 2019 HAB event in the Mississippi Sound and economic impacts on tourism, fisheries, and aquaculture. The project will also measure the social impacts on local communities caused by this HAB event.

The Florida project resulted in an online dashboard that compiled GIS data and HAB data impacts. The team will use a similar dashboard tool to provide project results in Mississippi. Stakeholders, policymakers, and the public will better understand such an event’s economic implications and can make informed management decisions.