Red Tide Kills Thousands Of Fish, Marine Life Along Florida’s Southwest Coast

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However, the red tide levels make much of the Gulf coast unsafe for swimming at the time.

"It's certainly disgusting", said Amy Benton, who walked along the shoreline early Thursday with a scarf over her nose and mouth as protection.

Large numbers of fish, turtles and other marine life are getting sick and dying along Florida's Southwest coast where there are high concentrations of toxic red tide algae.

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Crews came out with a fish disposal truck to clean the smelly marine life from the beach, and by 8:30 a.m., most had been removed.

Thank you for signing up for the Brightside Blend Newsletter. "We will continue to support Florida's biologists to study the best ways to combat red tide, and our state wildlife and environmental professionals will aid Florida communities that are being impacted".

It is believed a combination of coastal pollution and nutrient-laden water being flushed into the warm waters of the gulf from Lake Okeechobee have caused the particularly severe red tide. "We're even seeing large loggerhead sea turtles being effected, and that's because this red tide has lasted into the nesting season".

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"It's hard to predict more than a few days out [when it will end]", Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Michelle Kerr told CNN.

A combination of red tide along Florida's coastline and blue-green algae in rivers and canals is killing a variety of animals in Florida waters this summer. The dead manatee was towed away Tuesday.

Kills can occur at thresholds of at least 10,000 cells per liter. The FWC also explains the carcasses are valuable for a cause of death determination and understanding marine health threats.

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