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

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Instead, they're strewn with the corpses of dead marine creatures, victims of a red tide.

"As we continue to work with our partners to respond to the ongoing red tide event in Southwest Florida, we ask that you report any dead or distressed marine mammals and see turtles to our wildlife alert hotline", the FWC wrote on its official Instagram account Wednesday alongside images of workers rescuing a manatee sickened by red tide exposure.

About 100 miles of the Florida shore have been affected, and the red tide looks like a persistent one.

K. brevis produces neurotoxins that can sicken and kill fish, seabirds, turtles and other marine life. Pelicans, manatees and a whale shark have also washed ashore since this unprecedented bloom started.

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.


In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in two samples collected from Pinellas County, background concentrations in two samples collected from Manatee County, background to high concentrations in 19 samples collected from or offshore of Sarasota County, high concentrations in six samples collected from Charlotte County, background to high concentrations in 17 samples collected from Lee County, and very low to high concentrations in 11 samples collected from Collier County. However, the red tide levels make much of the Gulf coast unsafe for swimming at the time. The FWC reports that this recent bloom has been monitored since November.

Scott pushed for the Legislature to spend up to $100 million to help sway the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.

"This is horrific what we're enduring now, but it needs to be a wake-up call to people that clean water is important to more than just wildlife", Sanibel's Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife veterinarian Heather Barron told the Miami Herald.

"It's certainly disgusting", said Amy Benton, who walked along the shoreline early Thursday with a scarf over her nose and mouth as protection.

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