Letter of Intent for the
10th Symposium on Harmful Algae in the US

Orange Beach, Alabama


Local Organizing Committee

Alan Wilson (Auburn University), Alison Robertson (Dauphin Island), Matt Waters (Auburn University), and David Hambright (University of Oklahoma).


We propose to hold the 10th Symposium on Harmful Algae in the U.S. in Gulf Shores- Orange Beach, Alabama. If selected, this would be the first time this meeting has been held in the southeastern U.S. since 2013. Gulf Shores-Orange Beach is approximately 28 miles from the Pensacola International Airport in Florida and approximately 70 miles from the Mobile Regional Airport in Alabama. There are plenty of options for airport transfers to the conference venue including shuttles, Uber, Lyft, taxicabs, and rental cars in the area. The Gulf Shores Orange Beach area is a known tourist destination due to the beautiful beaches, resorts, watersports, charter fishing, diving, and natural biodiversity of the delta region of Mobile Bay. Fishing, diving/snorkeling, and alligator tours will be organized and available for conference attendees before/after the meeting.


November 2019 (tentatively November 3rd to 7th, 2019).  Before finalizing these dates, we will confirm that the 10th Symposium on Harmful Algae will not conflict with the timing of related conferences (e.g., NALMS).


The symposium will focus on emerging HABs in the US, crossing the land-sea interface in temperate and subtropical zones in the face of climate change and shifting land use.

Potential participating or collaborating organizations

There are a number of Gulf of Mexico-wide organizations that will potentially participate that include: Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the National Estuary Program, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, University of South Alabama, Auburn University, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, NAS Gulf Program, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, AL/MS Chapter of the American Water Works Association, USGS, and USEPA.  If selected, we will reach out to these groups and others about their interest in participating.

Venue Description

The conference venue proposed is the Perdido Beach Resort, which is located on the beach facing the Gulf of Mexico, with approx. 346 hotel rooms, 22 meeting rooms, and 45,000 square feet of conference space. The resort has 4 restaurants, a deli, a coffee shop, 3 bars (poolside, terrace, and indoor), and indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, and private beach. Free parking and WIFI is provided to all conference guests. Regular meetings similar in size to the US HABs meeting are held at this hotel annually.  If selected, we will meet with recent organizers of conferences at this venue to get advice about our plans.

The city of Gulf Shores-Orange Beach has approx. 80 restaurants and bars and many local attractions close to the resort including: Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum (1.4 mi), Orange Beach Art Center (1.4 mi), Adventure Island (2.7 mi), The Wharf Entertainment district with hundreds of fun activities, shopping, dining, movies, a marina, events amphitheater, Ferris wheel and more! (4.2 mi), Perdido Key State Park – (5.8 mi), Gulf State Park Golf Course (6 mi), Gulf Adventure Center (6.4 mi), Gulf State Park Fishing Pier (6.6 mi), Gulf State Park (7 mi), The Track Family Recreation Center (7.5 mi), and Waterville USA (7.5 mi).

The budget includes A/V and IT support from staff at the conference venue and Dauphin Island Sea Lab will be available from 8am-6pm each day.

An opening crawfish broil-cocktail party will be held in the outside poolside area of the Perdido Beach Resort and will include appetizers, a crawfish broil meal (and vegetarian option), and two drink vouchers for beer or wine.