If you have been RVing along Florida’s southwestern coast you have likely noticed the toxic algae bloom known as the “red tide” that has persisted for months and is taking a deadly toll on marine wildlife.
In response, Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in seven coastal counties affected by the algae, reported Woodall’s. The executive order provides emergency funding and resources which will help communities rescue and protect wildlife and clean up the pervasive algae, which is also smelly and is no fun to swim in, unfortunately, if you are staying at a beachside campground or RV resort.
Scott also allocated additional funds for researching red tides, to better understand their causes and to help researchers develop strategies for preventing future lethal blooms.
Red tides (which, despite the name, are not necessarily red) appear in ocean waters when conditions allow naturally occurring single-celled algae — in this case, the toxic Karenia brevis — to multiply and cluster. These blooms occur seasonally in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida, with the red tide typically emerging in the late summer or early fall and lasting three to five months, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Red tides and other harmful algae blooms can persist for as long as 18 months, affecting thousands of square miles, the FWC reported.