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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU's Next "Moonlight on the Marsh" Lecture Addresses Beach Pollution Causes, Health Risks and Solutions

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Beach pollution -- an issue that concerns tourism officials, scientists and environmentalists as well as anyone who enjoys strolling Florida's sandy shores -- is the timely topic of the next "Moonlight on the Marsh" lecture presented by the Everglades Wetland Research Park of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).

Jiyoung Lee, Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Public Health at The Ohio State University in Columbus, will present "Who is polluting the beaches? Understanding contamination sources, health risks and protection of beach water" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30. The free lecture is at FGCU's Harvey Kapnick Education and Research Center at the Naples Botanical Garden, 4940 Bayshore Drive, Naples.

The number of recreation-related waterborne bacterial outbreaks in the United States has increased substantially over the past 30 years, according to reports from state health departments and the nationwide Waterborne Disease and Outbreak Surveillance System. Infectious disease risks from fecal contamination and toxins from harmful algal blooms are the main threats to public health at beaches, says Lee, an expert on bacteria and viruses in aquatic environments and food.

"To manage beach water quality effectively, a targeted and interdisciplinary approach is needed to pinpoint the contamination sources and ensure the most significant improvement of water safety," she said.

In its second year, "Moonlight on the Marsh" presents distinguished scientists from around the world discussing timely topics for students, other scientists and the general public.

"The 2013-14 series focuses on some of the gigantic ecological and environmental issues we have in Southwest Florida," said William J. Mitsch, director of the Everglades Wetland Research Park and the Juliet C. Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management at FGCU.

For more information about the series, go online to

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