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

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Red tide is a "naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida's Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs almost every year".

Experts suggest an excess amount of nutrients, coming from inland Florida and dumping into the Gulf of Mexico from rivers, could be making this year's bloom more persistent.

Social media has been inundated with images of dead animals that failed to escape the toxic bloom washing up on the Gulf of Mexico beaches across Florida. These samples are analyzed for detection and enumeration of Karenia brevis-the species responsible for Florida red tide-along with water quality parameters, phytoplankton community composition, and red tide toxins, officials said. "We're even seeing large loggerhead sea turtles being effected, and that's because this red tide has lasted into the nesting season". Bill Nelson, a Democrat who is being challenged by Scott in the November election, said Thursday that he has asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the potential health impacts of exposure to algae that has spread in waterways along both coasts.

Florida's southwest coast, a ribbon of inlets and barrier islands normally brimming with wildlife, has become a red tide slaughterhouse this summer.

What is Florida Red Tide?

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But the bloom is not only risky to marine animals.

To humans, breathing in air containing the toxic algae can cause people to suffer from tearing eyes and frequent coughing and sneezing.

A bloom of red tide algae has swept in from Naples to Tampa, killing marine life and tourism in its path.

As part of the directive, the conservation commission will assist local efforts to save animals affected by red tide.

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