Dead fish, red tide, plague Florida tourists, beaches

Monday, 06 Aug, 2018

An unusual number of dead animals have been washing up on Florida's shores this summer.

The latest red tide report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows high concentrations in samples collected from Sarasota County southward, meeting the threshold of at least 1 million Karenia brevis cells per liter of water.

A bloom of red tide algae has swept in from Naples to Tampa, killing marine life and tourism in its path.

WINK Meteorologist Matt Devitt posted on Facebook about some of the devastation.

"Pictures are recent and within July, most from Lee County", he wrote. Red tide is natural.

Large numbers of fish, turtles and other marine life are getting sick and dying along Florida's Southwest coast where there are high concentrations of toxic red tide algae.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife officials have been trying to save as many sea turtles as they can.

According to reports, the US Army Corps of Engineers released water from the lake which had poisoned waterways downstream.

For starters, blue-green algae is very noticeable.

Experts suggest an excess amount of nutrients, coming from inland Florida and dumping into the Gulf of Mexico from rivers, could be making this year's bloom more persistent.

"It's certainly disgusting", said Amy Benton, who walked along the shoreline early Thursday with a scarf over her nose and mouth as protection. Things are so serious that Florida Governor Rick Scott issued an executive order last month to combat the algae, urging local agencies to take emergency actions - including redirecting the flow of water to curb the growth of the blooms.