Red Tide vs. Blue-Green Algae: There is a Difference

Dead fish litter a beach in Fort Myers Florida. A lingering red tide off Florida's southwest coast has killed hundreds of fish turtles and other sea life in recent weeks

"This whale shark was definitely exposed to the bloom, and we know brevetoxins (are deadly)", spokeswoman Kelly Richmond of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission told the Washington Post.

Red tides at Sanibel Island in Florida have continued to leave beaches looking like graveyards, with dozens of fish and other sea life washed up on the shore.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is now examining samples of the algae from different locations along the west coast.

According to the NWS, beach goers should watch out for the respiratory impacts of red tide including coughing, sneezing, and tearing eyes.

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. He said all of the photos were recent, and all taken in the month of July.

There have already been at least 490 manatee deaths this year as well, with 80 of them likely caused by red tide.

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While the toxic algae blooms known as "red tides" are common off the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is calling the current event the worst in a decade.

Officials say almost 400 sea turtles have died because of the toxic bloom.

Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working to release some of the toxic water from the lake.

"As the person dealing with all these hundreds of dying animals, I'm upset."

The US Federal Government met with Florida residents in late July to discuss the water quality issue after Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in the area around Lake Okeechobee.

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