Florida Red Tide Damaging Coastline


Andrew Faucher, Staff Writer

Florida is in a state of emergency as it remains at the mercy of a red tide algae bloom crippling ecosystems and economies. When the algae blooms and then dies, it releases toxins that can kill marine life. Red tide has spread to roughly 130 miles of Florida’s southwest coast.

Officials from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have cleared over 2,000 tons of dead marine life from the sandy shores of Florida. The overall total does not include marine life collected by parks and recreation departments, the islands of Boca Grande and Captiva or the extensive networks of privately owned canals.

The red tide crisis, which has lasted for more than nine months, has greatly affected local businesses. More than $8 million dollars have been lost due to the red tide outbreak. Fishing companies cannot export any products and merchandise shops have no one coming into their stores.

“It’s an eerie sight really. Normally when you come down here, there’s people all over the place, but now there’s just empty stores and piles of dead fish along the beaches,” said Fort Lauderdale resident Maggie Faucher.

Local and state governments are budgeting millions in an effort to aid cleanup efforts and help businesses rebound for the future.