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Red Tide

Smelly air and lots of dead fish on the beach can mean there is red tide in the water, but it doesn’t mean that the water is red!

The culprit is a plant-like microscopic alga called Karenia brevis that, in large quantities, produces a poison or toxin. The toxin affects a fish’s nervous system. It can cause respiratory problems in both people and animals and can sicken and kill manatees, dolphins, dogs and birds.

A group called Solutions to Avoid Red Tide, Inc. or START has been formed to support research to monitor water for early detection and reduction of red tide’s harmful effects.

-- sponsored by the Red Tide Alliance through a grant from the Florida Department of Health & the Center for Disease Control, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, S.T.A.R.T. and