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Red Tide

A female scientist wearing a blue safety helmet collects water samples on a boat.
Courtesy Chelsea Bonnain Chase

Last summer, scientists with the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and the University of South Florida started a project to find iron, copper, cobalt, cadmium, nickel, manganese, and zinc in the waters along Florida's west coast.

FWC

State wildlife officials say a Trichodesmium algal bloom has been lingering off the coast of Southwest Florida the past few weeks.

Dead fish on Indian Rocks Beach from red tide
STEPHEN SPLANE / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Two new studies are being funded to detail the impacts red tide algae blooms have on Florida’s economy. The research will look into tourism, the seafood industry, health care and construction.

Red knot birds in a pen
COURTESY: MELISSA EDWARDS / Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

Shorebird rehabilitators had an "all hands on deck” situation this past weekend, and red tide could be the culprit.

Florida's red tide task force has finalized its recommendations for solutions to the toxic algae blooms and plans to deliver them to lawmakers later this week. 

Map of current red tide status showing no elevated levels, as of Jan. 14.
FWC website

Florida's task force to combat red tide plans to finalize some ideas for the state legislature soon. 

Red tide appears to have receded from much of the Tampa Bay area this week.

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.

The holidays provide extra time for fishing along the Gulf coast, but some popular species are not for keeps due to red tide.

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.

A toxic red tide bloom persists along Florida's Gulf Coast from low concentrations in Pinellas County to high concentrations in Collier County.

Red tide is getting worse in the Tampa Bay area, causing fish kills last week in parts of Sarasota County.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Red tide has returned to the Tampa Bay area.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that a bloom of the organism that causes red tide was detected over the past week off Sarasota and Pinellas counties.

Respiratory irritation was also reported in Sarasota.

Red tide was first detected off Collier county in late September and slowly made its way north to Lee and Charlotte counties.

Scientists say a red tide bloom is making its way into southwest Florida bays and killing sea turtles.

With a curved carapace, angry-looking eyes and a spiky tail, horseshoe crabs look like nature’s armored tanks, crawling in the sand at the shore.

Conor Goulding / Mote Marine Laboratory

Scientists say toxic red tide is back in the waters off the Florida southwest coast after fading away earlier this year following a 15-month bloom.

A state task force to help determine strategies for researching and mitigating harmful algae blooms met Thursday in St. Petersburg. It’s the first time the group has met since Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the initiative in November.

Stone Crab
Flickr/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commision

There is one more victim of the red tide outbreak that plagued Florida’s Gulf Coast last year. This season’s stone crab harvest is among the state's lowest, according to seafood industry experts.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks in Englewood to announce the members of the Red Tide Task Force
Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday announced the appointments of 11 researchers to a reinvigorated task force looking into combating red tide. The most recent red tide outbreak was the longest one in memory.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

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.


While red tide algal blooms have occurred off the coast of western Florida since before the state was heavily developed – the earliest accounts of its presence date back to the 1880s, and J.N. Ding Darling himself wrote about a massive red tide bloom in the 1940s – current residents of this part of the state are unfortunately well-aware of just how harmful a red tide bloom can be.

Scores of dolphins have died along Florida's southwest coast due to the red tide bloom in the past year, federal researchers said.
Mote Marine Laboratory

Associated Press

 Scores of dolphins have died along Florida's southwest coast due to the red tide bloom in the past year, federal researchers said.

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.

Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez
Alejandra Martinez / WLRN

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.

In the fall of last year, USF researchers sent a glider to what’s called “the epicenter” of red tide—the Gulf of Mexico’s continental shelf. The device helped to measure water movements to determine how red tide blooms were distributed throughout Florida.
USF College of Marine Science

A new study shows that ocean circulation was a major cause of the toxic red tide bloom, which plagued Florida's West Coast for over a year. It expanded up to the Florida Panhandle and circled down around to the East Coast.

Senate Moves Forward With Red Tide Research

Apr 10, 2019

A Senate panel moved forward Tuesday with a proposal that would direct $3 million a year to a red-tide research initiative between the state and Sarasota-based Mote Marine Laboratory, despite arguments that the proposal fails to fully address human involvement in the spread of the toxic algae. 

Florida Gulf Coast University announced its first partnership for its new Water School on Thursday. 

Conor Goulding / Mote Marine Laboratory

The battle against red tide may soon get a boost. A proposal to give $3 million a year for five years to study red tide got a unanimous thumbs-up when the Tampa Bay Area legislative delegation met Tuesday in Sarasota.

Florida's coastal waters appear free from a devastating red tide bloom that began in October 2017.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report released Wednesday says the toxic algae were no longer present in water samples collected anywhere in the state. 

Nicole Slaughter Graham / WUSF Public Media

At this year’s Florida State Fair, the agriculture scene is on full display. As you might expect, cows, goats and pigs are available for fairgoers to feed and pet. But this year’s agricultural exhibits also include another of the state’s prosperous, but lesser-known commodities: aquaculture.

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