Red Tide Invades Florida’s East Coast from Miami to West Palm Beach with beach closures.
Greetings! There’s been a deadly red tide bloom on Florida’s west coast all of this past spring and summer. In 2017, the FWC blamed 67 manatee deaths on red tide. So far this year, 80 manatee deaths are already being linked to red tide in Florida. And now, the Gulf Stream has carried the toxic red tide all the way around Florida’s peninsula southward past Key West, right over to Florida’s east coast!
Red Tide is a manatee’s enemy because its toxicity could kill us very quickly! You see red tide is an extremely toxic algae bloom that forms when the water is warm and there are plenty of nutrients for it to live on. And that is exactly what’s been happening along, at minimum, 120 miles of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast, which started in November 2017. Add to this, more sobering news that scientists say these red tide blooms, “most likely will last until 2019.”
Now, the red tide is invading Florida’s east coast from Miami up to West Palm Beach. This is the first time in Florida’s history this event has ever happened. The Claus family has been fishing in Florida’s southeastern Atlantic coast waters for three generations. Trey Claus has, “never seen anything like this.” He continued and said, “This might put a halt to our season, which is not a good thing.” If the east coast red tide bloom were to stay, as it is on the west coast, massive kills of sea life would occur. It would also kill the Claus family’s charter reservations, along with the game fish that makes up their business. The upcoming fishing and shellfish seasons would come to a halt including, stone crab, ballyhoo, and sailfish.
The most serious issue with this red tide invasion is Florida’ winter tourism. The “snowbirds” as Floridians call them come down to the sunshine state for its warmth and pristine, white beaches in the winter. And now, red tide has already closed some. There are new closed beaches in Miami-Dade County. Larry Brand, University of Miami professor of marine biology and ecology said, “I’m not sure we’ve ever had red tide in Miami before.” According to CNN, “The worst water samples taken in Miami-Dade County, off Haulover Inlet, had medium levels of red tide. Those levels pushed Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to close several beaches ‘in an abundance of caution.’” The CNN report continued and said, “Earlier in the week, red tide shut down a number of beaches in Palm Beach County. Some remain closed; video posted to social media showed some of the red tide fish kill washing up on the beaches. Fish kills have also been reported in St. Lucie County, Respiratory irritation from red tide has been reported in Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties. Because Florida’s Atlantic coast rarely sees red tide, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oceanographer, Richard Stumpf said there’s on way to forecast it, because it can’t really be seen on a satellite.”
As more news comes out on red tide, I’ll blog about it for you
If you are in Florida and you see a sick or injured manatee, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee