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Pollution from inland sources, particularly fertilizers, can wash into the ocean and provide fuel for Karenia brevis. Key drivers are water temperatures and pollution from humans, according to Tim Davis, a Bowling Green State University biologist who studies algae.
Lake Okeechobee has become a perfect petri dish for several strains of microorganisms in recent years, as a proliferation of farmland and towns has spilled nitrogen and phosphorous-based fertilizers into the watershed.
The twin emergencies have hurt Florida’s tourist-driven economy, spurred calls for greater controls on fertilizers and other pollutants that fuel the fresh-water algae blooms and led to recriminations in the races for governor and the U. “Born and raised in Florida and I’ve never seen it this bad.” In fact, while this year’s red tide may be prolonged, it is no worse than those a decade ago.
Some wept as beloved manatees expired, bloated and tinted a ghastly green.
Crabbers are among the many fishermen who say their catches have declined as much as 70 percent.
And no one can tolerate the stench of rotting organisms, big and small. But Floridians who want to express their dismay will have one outlet on Aug. That Sunday, a Hands Along the Water event is planned along the Gulf Coast to “show solidarity & join together as one to rage against this created environmental tragedy against our waters, our sea life, our livelihoods, our lives!
The foul siege reached from Sarasota nearly to the tip of Florida by early June, when ecological insult No. A green film of cyanobacteria appeared, as it regularly does in summer, in vast Lake Okeechobee.
But this year the bacteria also spilled over into rivers and canals, which carried the toxic green sludge east to the Atlantic Ocean and west to the Gulf of Mexico.