Student Travel Info: Red Tide Is Demolishing Florida’s Coast

Nicole L., Staff Writer

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Have you heard of red tide? Did you visit Florida recently only to be told you couldn’t go in the ocean? This was probably due to the red tide.  Red tide is an over abundance of an algae called Karenia brevis, an algae that thrives in water with a high salinity (salt content). It originated in the Gulf of Mexico. Under the right conditions, like heat, red tide can grow very rapidly. Because of tide patterns, Florida’s clear, blue waves turned into red, toxic waves.

If the toxic algae is inhaled or consumed,  it can lead to coughing, breathing problems, and even lung diseases like asthma. Red tide can also kill sea life like fish, birds, turtles, dolphins, and even manatees. It starts at the bottom of the food chain. When a fish consumes the toxic algae, the fish will die from poisoning. When a larger fish or predator consumes the dead fish, they too get algae poisoning. When birds consume the fish or predator, the birds get sick.

Florida’s people and wildlife are suffering, but so is the tourism. This could’ve affected many students at Roosevelt when trying to vacation in Florida this summer. Because of red tide, Florida isn’t getting as many tourists. People want to be able to swim and enjoy the beach. This is severely damaging their tourism market, especially Tampa’s. Tampa is a main tourism market in Florida. Since the beaches are flocked with red tide, the tourism market is down by a heavy amount.

Was this interesting to you? Were any of your vacation plans affected by this red tide? If so, comment below.  

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