ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Red Tide in Florida

Updated on July 3, 2018
Nasty
Nasty
Red Tide cells
Red Tide cells
Toxic brew
Toxic brew

Well, this was a surprise for a newcomer to Florida. I did not see much of this "Red Tide" last summer, but it is a different story this year. In Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, the species that causes most red tides is Karenia brevis. This algal bloom has and continues to plague Florida's west coast, with the area south of Tampa-St. Pete, being under poor conditions at the beaches. What this does is kill fish, which adds to the smell of the tide in bloom. While it may be confused with manmade pollution, it is a natural scar.

One can feel this tide with sudden respiratory irritation (coughing, sneezing, tearing and an itchy throat). I know I did. The sight of small dead fish brings thoughts of End Times, together with the color and high bacteria counts, many beaches have warning flags. Yet, despite all the warnings, people swim in this horror. The Florida red tide can cause some people to suffer skin irritation and burning eyes. While health authorities claim there is no real danger, they do state not to swim wherever dead fish are! Problem is that they are all over many beaches!

Florida red tides develop 10-40 miles offshore, away from man-made nutrient sources, however, once they move closer to shore, manmade toxins or chemicals may increase the intensity of the bloom killing more bigger fish. The K. brevis produces brevetoxins that affects the central nervous system of fish and other vertebrates, causing these animals to die. Even low wave action can break open K. brevis cells and release these toxins into the air, leading to respiratory irritation in humans. Like some form of bio-terrorism, it is amazing how even healthy people are impacted while at the beach from this invisible foe. Even birds that ingest fish tainted with K. brevis can die.

All this points to danger for humans, at the top of the food chain, despite the downplaying of governmental bodies. Even those who live within a mile or so of the coast are impacted by the airborne aspects. To combat this bloom, Florida scientists used copper sulfate to attempt to eliminate a red tide in coastal Florida waters. While it did work to a degree, the chemical hurt various marine life and was stopped unless from desperation. The end result is that mankind has given up on trying to remove or control the natural occurring horror. There is no good solution.

The Red Tide occurs only on the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida, usually in the summer when ocean temps reach 90F. The Atlantic side of the state does not suffer at all from this plague. However, the algae is fueled by another source. The algae incubates in Lake Okeechobee, which contains too many nutrients. Heavy rains forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release the toxic brew into nearby waterways. While this freshwater lake is in central Florida, other rivers connect (the Caloosahatchee River) and can bring the mess to Ft. Myers on the Gulf of Mexico. When this happens, the nutrient-rich flow ascerbates the natural Red tide. Soon, the blooming is nearly covering the coast from Ft. Myers to Sarasota.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 years ago

      There is a defined smell for sure, even without dead fish. The whole thing makes one think of bioterrorism capabilities even if the attack is just an irritant like red tide toxins that are airborne.

    • Guckenberger profile image

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      3 years ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Interesting, but the smell must be something.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)