Red Tide (PSP)

Team: 105


Area of Science: Environmental


Interim Report

Team Number: 105
School Name: Shiprock High School
Area of Science: Environmental
Project Title: Red Tide (PSP)

Problem Definition:

Red tides are caused by the unstable growth and increase of certain microscopic algae, predominantly dinoflagellates, in coastal waters. Some species of dinoflagellates produce toxins that are among the most effective known to man. These harmful algal blooms are a serious and recurrent threat to human health, wildlife, marine ecosystems, fisheries, coastal aesthetics, and our economy.

For example, the toxins in red tide cause extensive fish kills and contaminate shellfish and create respiratory irritation for people who live near the shore. Economically it affects the Scandinavian and Japanese fisheries, Caribbean and south pacific reef fish and shell fishing along the coasts. Most peoples' whose lives evolve around fisheries suffer greatly from the red tide.

We have chosen to study one kind of red tide called PSP (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) since there are some many different kinds of red tide. PSP is a serious illness caused by eating shellfish that are contaminated with harmful algae that contain a toxin harmful to humans. PSP can increase to high numbers in marine waters; the condition of this is at times referred to as a red tide. Anyone who eats PSP contaminated shellfish is at risk for illness or something even worse, like death.

Problem Solution:

We plan to give information to the public about how the Red Tide is harmful to humans, wildlife, marine mammals and the impact that it has on our economy. We could use data extracted from the internet, or another source such as that of other people who are educated on the in the field of the subject to show what could be done to avoid red tide.

We are planning to use the Star Logo program to show how red tide may spread. We plan to have the maybe the brown turtles represent any marine mammals. Next we can have the yellow turtles represent shellfish or any other organisms. We can have green represent the humans. Then we could show them getting contaminated and the symptoms they may have, but that's only the first part of it.

Progress to Date:

We are doing a lot of research on Red Tide; we are trying to get to know the how and why it affects the population and our economy. We have been in contact with a professor name Jason Lennes who is a Biogeochemistry at the University of South Florida. He has been providing helpful information on our subject and has been like a mentor to us.

Expected Results:

We hope to see a lot of people at least get to know what red tide is about. We are also hoping that we get to help out with one of the organizations that are dealing with red tide or PSP.


Washington State of Health Department, Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning ("red tide"). 06/16/05 .

Maneveldt, Gavin. Red Tide and Shellfish poisoning. 02/01/2001 02:46:20 .

Team Members: Lache Yazzie, Dakota Dee, Jeralea Hillgartner, & Melissa Johnson

Sponsoring Teacher: Mrs. Noble, Ms. Herrmann

Team Members:

  Carlton Morgan
  Meliss Johnson
  Lache Yazzie
  Dakota Dee
  Jeralea Hillgartner

Sponsoring Teacher: Vernetta Noble