Discussion: Florida Gulf Coast's Algae Crisis Takes A Deadly Turn

1 Like

Big Sugar, sod farms, other agricultural business, golf courses, neighborhood lawns being fertilized, you name it. I live in the area and when all that goes into the rivers and canals that reach the Gulf, well . . . The State doesn’t want to blame any of these entities, especially Big Sugar because of its political clout, but it’s really destructive land use. Red Tide happens naturally, yes, but this isn’t all that natural.


I was down there the a few weeks ago and it is truly brutal. Thousands of dead fish/wildlife lining the beach, a stench of death that wafts several miles inland, and dark, murky water (which is normally a clear green/blue).

I was shocked it wasn’t more in the national news. Meanwhile, in CA wildfires were burning (the new normal out west), and torrential rains were once again flooding the east coast (the new normal out east).

If this continues or becomes more common (hey, let’s not fund studies on it and also allow unregulated /construction/agricultural runoff!) it will devastate the entire Gulfcoast. From tourism, to vacation rental owners, to all the businesses reliant on visitiors–the entire region is going to get hammered.

My family’s been going down there for decades, and this was the worst I’ve ever seen. Truly tragic.


Exactly. Even the articles have the tone of, “we just don’t know if anything humans have done has exacerbated this…”

Umm, it’s pretty damn clear we are making it worse, both in the instance of red tide and the freshwater blooms.


It hasn’t helped that Gov. Rick Scott has loosened regulations intended to protect water quality including allowing farmers to self-regulate w.r.t. fertilizer run-off.

Of course, Rick Scott’s campaign for Senator is blaming Washington DC for the problem…


Thanks Obama.


I meant to say self-monitor, not self-regulate, but when I accidentally hit delete comment and then undo, the software locked me out of the editor.


Governor Sick Rott is trying to blame Washington as a way to trash Senator Nelson (D) against whom he is running this year. Conveniently forgetting that repubes have controlled Congress for about a decade rendering Nelson relatively powerless.

Rott also has forgotten how his company stole Billions from the Medicare system while he was CEO and then as governor he refused to take Federal dollars to expand Medicare thus screwing those folks yet again. In addition Rott has allowed the ridiculous and lethal so-called Stand YOur Ground law to expand so that the prosecution now has the burden of proof that a crime has been committed. (We had a demonstration of this recently although we won’t know for sure since the shooter was white and the victim was black).

Our best hope is that the Parkland effect will be just enough to keep Sick Rott from becoming the state’s next U.S. Senator, in a race that is currently a virtual tie.


I’m sure this has nothing to do with warming oceans.


Plus the damn phosphate mining; plus paving the state. This is all chickens coming home to roost. And it’s heartbreaking.


Red tide is a natural occurrence that happens due to the presence of
nutrients in the water and an organism called a dinoflagellate.

Yep, entirely natural. Notice how the AP very carefully dances around the existence of climate change, and barely touches runoff. Science articles have pointed out that warming and runofff mean the conditions for red tide become more common. And the blue-green algae in freshwater, well, duh.


My family’s been vacationing on Sanibel for more than 50 years. I thought my heart would break last year when Irma was barreling up the Gulf Coast headed straight for Sanibel. The storm surge was predicted at 10 to 12 feet. The highest point on the island is all of six feet above sea level. Sanibel lovers all over the country were texting each other in expectant mourning: this time, she was really going to drown for good.

Then, amazingly, Irma took a sharp right just south of Sanibel and tore up the center of the state. Sanibel was safe for another year.

But all of the evil forces mentioned above - agricultural poisons, development, fossil fuels burning the planet alive, Rick Fucking Scott - combined to do what Irma couldn’t.

I’m not sad. I’m fucking furious.


And the real news about ecological disasters creeps along subliminally, every once in a while surfacing in a bland AP story.


BLUE WAVE eye roll Libtards. RED Tide WILL roll in and sicken or kill everything it TOUCHES.


This has become the big issue in Florida politics. Rick Scott, the sitting governor who has had 8 years to solve the problem, is blaming Nelson. Jeff Green and Gwen Graham are throwing punches back and forth. The sugar industry deserves a lot of the blame as does years of development near Lake Okeechobee. The fact is our Florida Republican overlords don’t believe in avoiding any environmental disaster under any circumstance and they work hard to make sure their responsible donors don’t have to pay for any remediation.

This problem will improve when the temperature drops. The ultimate solution requires better waste water management.


Yep. And the sargassum seaweed devastating the Caribbean isn’t from the sargasso sea it is from off the coast of Brazil and is caused by rising ocean temp and Amazon runoff–I’m sure you remember the warnings from commie scientists in the 1980s about Amazon deforestation blah blah blah…

Climate change is about way more than weather—microbiomes, epidemics in violence and viruses, migration, war, etc.

We have got to make real change permanent or it’s time to talk about the end of things—oh and let’s just forget about going to fucking Mars!!! I’m not talking to you Paulw…or am I? :wink:


I’m no climate denier but I do live in Florida…on the beach and it’s just not like that. Red tide has been around since folks first recorded ocean conditions. It does not begin inshore in most cases. It drifts inward from the deeper water. It would be nice to link it to our favorite political beliefs but it just aint so.

The really funny thing about this Florida disaster is while the two political parties and their candidates exchange punches and there are lots of stories about dead sea turtles, fish and dolphins, there is little real news on the local television stations and the newspaper coverage, though much better than television, has been more about affixing blame than solving the problem. We are literally being let down by the media as well as local Florida government. This is truly a slow motion disaster that is not really being addressed by the responsible parties.


I think the ocean algae is only part of the problem. The algae bloom on Lake Okeechobee and the waste runoff are playing a big part.

“I can’t describe the smell. It’s like unbelievable. It makes you throw up,” said Holmes Beach resident Alex Kuizon, who has lived in the area for decades.

This makes me wonder how it would affect me. I can’t smell a damned thing. Olfactory nerve was severed. This has actually proven to be a useful disability, as a matter of fact. The gas might kill me, but not the smells that go with it.