Mote and FWC conduct red tide survey along the Florida Gulf coast

07 August, 2018, 05:42 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Beaches at Boca Grande have been affected

The Herald-Tribune reports that visitors piled into the parking lot of Venice Beach, got out of their cars, started hacking, coughing and sneezing and then quickly left. Respiratory irritation and murky clumps of red drift algae have been reported from Collier to Sarasota counties.

Mote Marine Laboratory's phytoplankton ecology team, along with the Florida Wildlife Research Institute and Harmful Algal Bloom researchers, conducted a red tide survey along the Florida Gulf coast on Wednesday.

"We came for the shark teeth, but we're going to have to move somewhere else", said Sol Whitten, who came from a county north of Tampa with his wife, six grandchildren and his daughter-in-law.

The Florida Wildlife Commission reports high levels of algae in the water causing the red tide. "It's our entire south Florida coastline with the red tide and then with the blue-green algae on the rivers and canals".

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They say almost 300 sea turtles have died since the toxic bloom began in the fall, that's about double the average number.

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday said he directed state agencies "to mobilize all available resources to address red tide impacts in Southwest Florida's coastal communities". The algae bloom - which gets its name because the microscopic algae often turn water red - has already lasted since November of previous year, and could stretch into 2019, some scientists are saying.

Red tide is the name given to the blooms of a species of microorganisms that have a distinct red colour.

The harmful algae bloom has also been hurting businesses in the area.

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