One of the worst red tidal waves in Florida is finally disappearing

Experts say that the red tide that plagued the Florida coastline for 15 months is one of the five worst poisonous algae events in the history of the state.

Lawmakers from the state from southwest Florida met with scientists at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota on 6 February.

The Herald-Tribune reports Eric Sutton, director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the legislators that the red tide that began in November 2017 and seemed to disappear in mid-February was the fifth longest duration.

The longest was a 30-month flood that began in 1994 and ended in 1997.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report released on February 20 says the poisonous algae were no longer present in water samples collected anywhere in the state.

The bloom caused irritation of the airways in humans and killed enormous numbers of sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and fish.

Red tide is caused by an organism called Karenia brevis, which occurs naturally in the waters off the coast of Florida.

In a Herald-Tribune report, Robert Weisberg, speech expert from the University of South Florida, said that currents sweeping the bodies of deep offshore waters to the shore had stopped and there is no evidence that more poisonous algae are growing.

Conservation groups work together with officials to supplement fish stocks that have been decimated by the red tide.

Sutton said that more money was needed for research into ways to limit the effects of red tide.

Some local legislators are also looking for new regulations to limit the flow of nutrients that feed algal blooms.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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