Quantifying the economic impacts of harmful algal blooms

October 13, 2021

Quantifying the economic impacts of harmful algal blooms

Christa Court, Assistant Professor, Regional Economics, Food and Resource Economics Department; Director, Economic Impact Analysis Program, UF

Join us for the live stream Oct 13, 11:45am EST: youtu.be/AlCkAm9PwPI.


Coastal communities are inextricably linked to the marine environments they border. Marine-dependent industries such as commercial fishing, marine aquaculture, seafood processing, water transportation, and those that provide marine recreation opportunities are directly dependent on the resources that specific marine environments provide. Marine resources are also important contributors to the aesthetics as well as culture within coastal communities and provide critical ecosystem services that improve the lives and wellbeing of residents as well as its visitors. When coastal communities are exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs), there can be significant economic losses and damages, which often depend on the size, severity, timing, and duration of the event. Data limitations often make it difficult to determine the exact extent and value of these economic impacts to local economies. This seminar will provide an overview of the ongoing efforts of Dr. Court and her colleagues within the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program to quantify select economic impacts of HAB events in Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico region. 


Dr. Court’s research and extension program focus on regional economic modeling and integrated modeling of human and natural systems. She serves as Director of the Economic Impact Analysis Program, which conducts regional economic analyses for funded research projects, industry organizations, and government agencies, analyzing a wide range of activities and industries including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, education, and health care. Dr. Court also leads UF/IFAS efforts related to disaster impact analysis for agriculture, natural resource, and food industries including efforts related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, tropical cyclones, harmful algal blooms, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Court collaborates with researchers from a wide range of disciplines and extension faculty from around the state to integrate economic concepts and methods within interdisciplinary research efforts and to educate stakeholders in an effort to solve the wicked issues that our State and world face. She holds affiliate faculty status with Florida Sea Grant, UF School of Natural Resources and Environment, the UF Water Institute, the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University, and the University of the Westfjords in Ísafjörður, Iceland.