Dead fish, sea turtles, manatees, sea birds and even a shark have washed up on the beaches and clogged canals stretching from Tampa Bay to the Florida Keys this summer, according to news reports on the toxic bloom.
The Miami Herald described the unfolding disaster as “a red tide slaughterhouse.”
Every year, both Florida and Texas deal with red tides, but in Florida this has been the worst year since 2006, the Miami Herald reported.
this is the red tide in florida right now. they just released a bunch of overflow (lawn, sewer runoff, farm fertilizer and nitrogen) from lake okeechobee.
it’s causing a large portion of marinelife to die.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, defines a red tide, or harmful algae bloom, as a rapid growth of microscopic algae that produces toxins, which can have a harmful or deadly effect on marine life, birds and even humans. “The blooms can also cause large fish kills and discolored water along the coast,” NOAA officials said.
Veterinarian Dr. Heather Barron, from the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, cares for a Loggerhead sea turtle that was found washed ashore after becoming sick in the red tide on August 1, 2018 in Sanibel, Florida. Dr. Barron said, "this year's red tide is absolutely the worst she has seen for adult sea turtles,".
The mayor of Sanibel, Florida, along the Gulf Coast said the tide was a result of a “perfect storm of coastal pollution and a hot Gulf ignited by flushing nutrient-laden water from Lake Okeechobee,” the Miami Herald reported.
“All they do is obviously fuel the red tide. So, it’s a catalyst in making the problem worse,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said.
This is hardly on the local news and absent from the Nat’l news. This is happening in Florida. Toxic algae and red tide are killing marine life on both coasts. People made a lot of money by letting other people dump things in our water that they knew would do this. @FLGovScottpic.twitter.com/VbzmuCrzjb
Dead fish have washed ashore from the Sanibel causeway after dying in a red tide on August 1, 2018 in Sanibel, Florida. Red tide season usually lasts from October to around February, but the current red tide has stayed along the coast for around 10 months, killing massive amounts of fish as well as sea turtles, manatees and a whale shark swimming in the area.