Gov. Scott Calls For Action On Red Tide Amid Political Clamor

Gov. Scott Calls For Action On Red Tide Amid Political Clamor

The sparkling white sand of Florida's southwestern beaches aren't dotted with sunbathers this week.

Sally Bowman takes a picture of a dead Red fish that washed ashore after dying in a red tide on August 1, 2018 in Captiva, Florida.

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.

The newspaper, calling the algae outbreak a "crisis", says the suspected cause of death is red tide poisoning.

Social media has been inundated with images of dead animals that failed to escape the toxic bloom washing up on the Gulf of Mexico beaches across Florida.

"FWC and DEP will enhance cleanup efforts, public awareness initiatives and water testing to ensure that Floridians understand the best ways to minimize the impact of red tide", a press release added. At least 90 sea turtles have been found stranded as the tide stretches well into nesting season. Polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee are blamed for the toxic algae problems.

"Many people will tell you that this is the worst they have ever seen", Jacylin Bevis, a reporter with the NBC affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida, told NBC News.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say controlling the red tide is complicated.

Most algae blooms are beneficial to the ocean, providing a source of food for marine creatures. Red tide is a type of marine algae that undergoes an explosive growth and begins producing toxins.