Governor of Florida Rick Scott declared a state of emergency following the dangerous impact of the red tides affecting the Florida Gulf Coast. 7 Gulf Counties- Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota are under the state of emergency due to the naturally toxic bloom. The killer wildlife growth has plagued the shoreline resulting in several deaths of marine life and also causing problems to human health. The washing ashore of dead marine life only adds to the problems and the municipalities are starting massive cleanup drives.
Scott released a statement regarding the worsening situation of the coastline and assuring measure to combat it. It read, "While we fight to learn more about this naturally-occurring phenomenon, we will continue to deploy all state resources and do everything possible to make sure that Gulf Coast residents are safe and area businesses can recover." Red Tide Leads to Glowing Bioluminescent on San Diego Beaches (See Pictures).
From small bait to huge whale carcasses have washed up on the otherwise clean white sandy beaches. It can result in respiratory problems for those living by the shore. Warning signs have been issued on 170 beach access points, warning tourists about the water conditions. But what is this natural phenomenon that has caused such severe damage?
What is Red Tide?
Red Tide is a natural phenomenon that occurs when harmful algal blooms grow out of control. They produce toxic chemicals which affect the marine life, shellfish, birds and even the humans. The effects of this toxins can be fatal. When this species of phytoplankton organisms are present in high concentration the water appears red to muddy brown. The colour can vary from pink to blood red. Red tides are usually found in places where the freshwater meets the saltwater.
Take a look at the video of Florida's Red Tide:
The scientists refer to red tides as Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB). It produces natural toxins harming the marine life, and can eventually affect the surrounding air, making it difficult to breathe. This phenomenon is actually common and occurs every year, but this time the severity is extreme. With every passing year, their occurrence is on the rise. Is Taking Your Dog to the Beach Safe? Florida Pet Labrador Died of Saltwater Poisoning, Know All About This Deadly Condition.
How to deal with the red tide?
Red tide is a natural occurrence and it has been documented in Florida since the year 1840. Since this is said to be the worst red tide with the longest bloom, scientists are studying the causes of it persisting so long. They still can't say when the red tide will go away. They are studying what is causing the growth of these algae. Scientists are also working on ways to predict the time and location of these blooms so that forecasts and warnings could be made beforehand.
The red tide has killed several turtles, over 300 tons of fish, whales and even dolphins. So the problem is adverse and authorities and scientists want to work together to tackle it.