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Burning eyes, dead fish; red tide flares up on Florida coast



Residents who live near Indian Rocks Beach, Florida have complained about symptoms such as problems with breathing and burning eyes, this co-indices with several dead fish being washed up on the shore.

Indian Rocks experienced an increase in toxic-red algae this week.  Experts believe that this algae could be around for some time.  This news prompted a beachside festival to be canceled, which was scheduled to take place in about one month.

The annual BeachFest in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, which is sponsored by a homeowners’ association, was canceled following advice from the Pinellas County Health Department that the algae would likely still be around when the festival was scheduled to take place.

“Red Tide is currently present on the beach and is forecasted to remain in the area in the weeks to come,” the Indian Rocks Beach Homeowners Association said in a letter to the public. “It is unfortunate that it had to be canceled but it is the best decision in the interest of public health.”

Dead fish made up the majority of the two tonnes of debris which was removed from Pinellas County beaches and brought to the landfill, county spokesperson Tony Fabrizio informed the Tampa Bay Times. 


Mandy Edmunds, who is a parks supervisor for the city, also told the Tampa Bay times that 1000 pounds (454 kilograms) of fish have been removed from beaches in the St Pete area since the start of March.

“In the ocean, microscopic forms of algae, known as dinoflagellates, can “bloom” into dense patches near the surface, often referred to as “red tides.” Some of these harmful algal blooms (HABs) are dangerous, producing toxins that can kill marine organisms, taint shellfish, cause skin irritations, and even foul the air” as reported by The Smithsonian Institution.

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