red tide

Jim Bennight / @JimBennightPhotographer

A lethal Gulf Coast red tide that littered beaches with dead wildlife in 2018 is back and this time around, it's claiming one of North America's rarest bird species.

Toxic red tide algae is starting to bloom along Florida’s west coast again. State wildlife officials say elevated levels have been detected recently from Pinellas to Collier counties, and people in Sarasota County have also been experiencing respiratory irritations.

Now, new research is looking into longterm health effects of the toxins, including neurological issues.

Brian Bohlman / Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)

Toxic blooms of red tide are the scourge of Southwest Florida’s sea turtles, who often find themselves stranded onshore or killed after ingesting too many of their deadly brevitoxins.

But researchers and wildlife veterinarians around the state are finding that what treats toxicity in humans – namely, a treatment used for drug overdoses – also works on the four-legged flippers.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Pollution from auto emissions has gone up 55 percent in the Tampa Bay area since 1990, according to a nationwide analysis the New York Times published last week.

The numbers are nearly the same or worse for other parts of the state during that time period: a 53 percent increase in the Jacksonville area; 58 percent in the Dade-Broward region; 61 percent in the Sarasota-Bradenton area; 98 percent in the Orlando region; and a whopping 126 percent in Naples.

Red tide is back in Southwest Florida’s Gulf waters.

 


Pedro Portal Miami Herald

A state task force examining ways to fix Florida’s dirty water narrowed its recommendations on Monday by suggesting tighter rules for septic tanks and aging stormwater systems.

Associated Press

Scientists on Florida’s blue green algae task force began the daunting task this week of trying to craft recommendations for how to fix the state’s complex water problems.

Congress recently approved $6.25 million to study how red tide algae blooms affect people's health. Multiple facilities in Sarasota will work together on the research.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The red tide on Florida's Gulf Coast last year killed dolphins, manatees and fish. A new study finds the toxic algae also affects stone crab, one of Florida's most valuable seafood products.

State lawmakers passed several bills in the wake of last year's scourge of red tide attacking the coastlines and blue-green algae coming out of Lake Okeechobee. But some environmentalists say they didn't address the source of the problem - nutrients flowing into waterways.

Miami Herald archives

South Florida water managers dove into Everglades restoration in back to back meetings this week.

Experts: Red Tide Was Among 5 Worst In Florida's History

Feb 27, 2019

Experts say the red tide that plagued Florida's coastline for 15 months is one of the five worst toxic algae events in the state's recorded history. 

Next Steps Eyed In Fight Against Water Woes

Jan 23, 2019
STEPHEN SPLANE / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Local governments have spent $17.3 million the state provided to combat outbreaks of red tide and toxic blue-green algae, which have caused massive fish kills and fouled waters in coastal areas for more than a year.

The latest red tide report shows high concentrations of the toxic algae blooms in Sarasota and Collier counties. This nearly 16-month red tide event has killed more sea turtles than ever recorded.

Respiratory irritation related to red tide was also reported over the past week in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

News Service Of Florida

Following a messy election, a fresh political season is set to begin in Florida. New state leaders will be sworn in Jan. 8, including incoming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Although he still has a few decisions to make on key positions, DeSantis and his team have worked to fill hundreds of jobs in the administration, including for some of the state’s most prominent posts.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are filing bills for the 2019 Legislative session that begins in March.

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