According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Red Tide along the west coast is the Karenia brevis, a strain of algae that is nearly exclusive to Florida waters. Respiratory irritation and murky clumps of red drift algae have been reported from Collier to Sarasota counties.
The state wildlife agency says red tide, a type of algae, has been a naturally occuring phenomenon along Florida's Gulf Coast since at least the 1840s and that blooms occur almost every year in the Gulf of Mexico.
"We came for the shark teeth, but we're going to have to move somewhere else", said Sol Whitten, who came from a county north of Tampa with his wife, six grandchildren and his daughter-in-law.
The Florida Wildlife Commission reports high levels of algae in the water causing the red tide.
What is Florida Red Tide?
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Officials say almost 400 sea turtles have died because of the toxic bloom. "They will drown typically", explained Gretchen Lovewell, the program manager for Mote Marine Laboratory's Stranding Investigations Program (SIP).
Tyler DeGraff told ABC7 there were thousands of dead fish and the potent smell of death in the air. Currents may push the blooms to shore and chemical conditions on the shoreline can help the algae sustain itself.
But the bloom is not only unsafe to marine animals.
Red tide blooms produce toxic chemicals that can affect both marine organisms and humans.
This is not the first time red tide has been so intense. He said all of the photos were recent, and all taken in the month of July. FWC arrived and is helping to transport the manatee to SeaWorld in Orlando, where it will be treated and monitored until it can be released back into the wild.