#red tide
Red Tide Rolls Into Florida Again

Red Tide Rolls Into Florida Again

The red tide that plagued the West Coast of Florida for more than a year in 2017-18 is back again, and that means no swimming and increased respiratory problems for residents in the Naples-Fort Myers-Sarasota area, not to mention negative impacts to local businesses.  According to CNN, scientists say it is difficult to predict where the tide is heading next, or how long it will last, but the last one — which lasted 16 months — was devastating.

Why This Matters:  Climate change and runoff from agriculture and development are the culprits and this toxic algae problem seems to be a problem that is here to stay.  Locals are worried about their health, wildlife like fish and dolphins, and whether their businesses can survive if this outbreak lasts for long.  In the past, red tides happened but they lasted only a week or two — but the previous one lasted 16 months.

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Florida Red Tide Takes Record Number of Turtles

Florida Red Tide Takes Record Number of Turtles

The red tide that tormented the coast of Florida was extremely deadly for marine wildlife.  The Miami Herald Tribune reported that the Florida Department of Fish and Game attributed the deaths of 589 sea turtles and 213 manatee deaths to this episode of red tide, which began in late 2017. And the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported it had killed 127 bottlenose dolphins as of Dec. 20 (when the government shutdown began), leading the agency to declare an unusual mortality event.  And that is not counting the tons of dead fish that washed ashore.

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