Enormous red tide off Northwest Florida

Red tide

An enormous, and potentially devastating, red tide is now forming off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. The area where the algae is blooming is approximately 60 miles by 100 miles.

Red tide kills fish, manatees and other marine life by releasing a toxin that paralyzes their central nervous system. The algae also foul beaches and can be harmful to people who inhale the algae’s toxins when winds blow onshore or by crashing waves, particularly those with asthma and other respiratory ailments.

276 manatees died due to a red tide in 2013 when the seagrasses they fed on became contaminated by the poisonous algae.

Image from Shutterstock.

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