A toxic algal bloom known as a red tide killed thousands of marine wildlife off the coast of Florida, with many of the deceased washing up on beaches and jamming inlets.
The red tide has affected roughly 100 miles of Florida’s shoreline and is the longest lasting bloom since 2006, CNN reports. Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency order for seven counties on July 9. (RELATED: Florida Was Most Fiscally Responsible State In 2017, But Its Number Of Government Employees With Six-Figure Salaries Is Shooting Up)
“Our state is once again facing a crisis from water releases controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Scott said in a statement. “Since we are facing more harmful algal blooms from federal water releases, the state is taking a multifaceted approach to protect families.”
Now that the sun has come up we can really see the extent of death on Siesta Key beach. Florida’s southwest waterways are being rocked by red tide and a separate toxic algae bloom, which is believed to be linked to discharge from Lake Okeechobee pic.twitter.com/b2U8gDn81H
— Kellie Cowan (@KellieCowan) August 2, 2018
The bloom has killed fish, turtles, sea birds, manatees and a shark.
“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) has been monitoring this bloom since it started in November 2017,” Michelle Kerr, spokeswoman for the FWC Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, told AccuWeather in a statement. “FWC staff have been out in the field to confirm species identification and location, estimate of number dead fish and obtain samples from fish carcasses.”
Algal blooms are not rare and have been sited off the coast of every state bordering the ocean. Florida experiences an algal bloom at least once a year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Most blooms, created by colonies of simple plants that start growing and spreading out of control, are not harmful. The blooms usually become a necessary source of food and energy in a marine ecosystem. Some forms of algae release toxins that kill animals in the water and even cause discomfort to people and animals on land as the toxins escape into the air, according to NOAA.
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