Florida reels after worst toxic algae outbreak in more than a decade ravages the coastline battering tourism and decimating local endangered wildlife

Sunday, August 5, 2018
By Paul Martin

The algal overgrowth occurs each year but intensifies because of heat, pollution and stagnant water
It first started in October, but has quickly become the longest outbreak to hit the southwest coast since 2006
Marine wildlife including sharks, dolphins, manatees, endangered sea turtles and a plethora of fish have washed ashore sick or dead
Back in July, 15 people were treated on Monday and Tuesday by the Martin Health System for symptoms related to algae toxins
Health issues for humans start kicking in at just 10,000 algae cells per liter – the same level needed to kill fish
The intense bloom has also racked in concentrations of 1 million cells per liter or more in various parts of the state – and especially Lee County

By MATTHEW WRIGHT
DAILYMAIL.COM
4 August 2018

A toxic algae bloom is devastating the Florida coast and its surrounding waters, killing endangered sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, manatees and a plethora of fish.

The algal overgrowth occurs each year but intensifies because of heat, pollution and stagnant water. It first started in October, but has quickly become the longest outbreak to hit the southwest coast since 2006, reports the Huffington Post.

In some parts of the state, the water is covered in green gunk which blocks sunlight and oxygen from getting to marine vegetation, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Online records, kept by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, show that approximately 80 manatees have died because of the red tide this year. In 2017, only 67 manatees died compared to 277 in 2014, 151 in 1996 and 100 in 2003.

Records also show that hammerhead sharks and at least one whale shark have died because of the algae. Photos also show a dead dolphin wash up on shore.

Sea Turtles are taking even a larger hit, with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reporting that 91 sick/dead turtles have been picked up on the Sanibel Island.

‘Our average for the entire year is usually around 30 or 35, but we’ve had 53 in June and July alone,’ said Kelly Sloan, a sea turtle researcher for the foundation.

In Sarasota County, 100 turtles have been plucked while another 66 have been scooped out of the waters in Collier.

‘It’s really disheartening to see this mass mortality,’ Sloan said. ‘This is the 10th month of the red tide event, and it’s the longest continued bloom since 2006.’

The Rest…HERE

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