THE RED TIDE

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  “I’m Back”  — Worst Red Tide In Years  


🐟 Red Tide  —  We were lucky, really lucky,  with Hurricane Elsa no one died, and not a lot of damage.  My clients were smart, they cut,  cropped,  manicured the huge oak trees before they take out your house or car or loved ones.  Especially if overgrown near power pole lines.

No boating,  no injuries but these tropical storms create wind violence 40-70 mile gusts, tornadoes and enormous amounts of rain and that did not  break up the   (Some thought it would break up by turbulence and aeration of the rough water,  but it backfired…) 

Karenia brevis, had persisted on the Florida Gulf Coast. Over the past weeks, K. Brevis was detected in many samples.  Bloom concentrations were observed in  Pasco County, Pinellas County,  Hillsborough County,  Manatee County, and three from Sarasota County. 


Our Beaches And Tourism  —  I Am An Environmentalist  —  Daily temperatures have been in the nineties, and humidity enough you don’t need to shower,  you will be soaked all by yourself.  Running  for exercise — Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate —   This has been the worst summer so far we have experienced, nationwide in fact, and those who do not believe in global warming are idiots.  Fortunately they comprise two percent. 

Thats just a fact we are aware of , surprising though is that 94% of those who do not believe in global warming are Republicans.  Show you how really stupid people can be when politics is more important that life itself.  Just like COVID anti-vaxxers who share the same Republican mentality,  mainly less educated, rural, younger, and the fake Republican Evangelical voters who suffer from Crainial-Rectal Dyslexia Syndrome.  And COVID-19 Delta is placing 94% of the anti-vaxers with no shots into the ICU, Funeral Homes and The ground or Cremation.

If my words are harsh, leave now, my words are not too harsh, just truth.  Consider the damage the liars, conspiracy nuts, and imbeciles create and then walk away. Understand C.R.D.S. really means Sh*t for Brains  —  

For every idiotic that cares less about our planet, there are millions that do and they are getting really tired of the false, lying rhetoric and interference by our politicians and their dumb-ass followers. As the leadership in England stated fervently, “ It's time to stop talking and time to do something".


With rain everyday the soil gets saturated and when the aquifers load up the fertilizer chemicals and only God knows what else people use on their lawns overflow into the ocean.  Instead of the storm breaking the Tide it nourishes it with that great fertilizer.   

Florida is basically built on a very porous foundation which is why we have sinkholes, underground rivers and aquifers.   And dead fish showing up on our beaches… The problem is the dead fish that wind up on the beaches get filled with sand and cannot be put into the garbage grinders prior to burning as they would destroy the machines. to make into fertilizer or burn so they have to go to the landfill.  I have no idea how the workers can stand the smell.


—  So Far 09/19/2021 —  Tampa Bay Has Burned Or Landfilled 1,624 Tons 

Of Dead Fish Off The Beaches And Estuaries Caused By This Red Tide   — 


10/16/2021 —  Current STATEWIDE Area Conditions  — 

Current Conditions
A patchy bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Over the past week, K. brevis was detected in 157 samples. Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were observed in 61 samples: one in Bay County, one in Franklin County, two in and offshore of Pasco County, 13 in and offshore of Pinellas County, 10 in and offshore of Manatee County, 30 in Sarasota County, one in Charlotte County, and three in Lee County. K. brevis was also detected at background concentrations along Florida’s East Coast. 

Thanks to our partners at USF and NOAA, we are using satellite imagery – shown in the provided maps – to track patches of elevated chlorophyll (as a proxy for algal biomass) along the Panhandle (from Bay County extending eastward), offshore of the Big Bend (and along Dixie and Levy counties), and along Southwest Florida (from the Pasco/Pinellas County line to Lee County). Additional details are provided below.


  • In Southwest Florida over the past week: K. brevis was observed at background to high concentrations in or offshore of Pinellas County, very low to low concentrations in Hillsborough County, very low to high concentrations in or offshore of Manatee County, very low to high concentrations in or offshore of Sarasota County, background to medium concentrations in Charlotte County, and background to medium concentrations in or offshore of Lee County.
  • In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at low concentrations in Santa Rosa County, background to very low concentrations in Okaloosa County, background to low concentrations in Walton County, background to medium concentrations in Bay County, background to low concentrations in Gulf County, low to medium concentrations in Franklin County, very low concentrations offshore of Taylor County, background and low concentrations offshore of Dixie County, background to low concentrations in or offshore of Levy County, very low concentrations offshore of Hernando County, and low to medium concentrations in or offshore of Pasco County.
  • Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in St. Johns County.
  • Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported on the Florida Gulf Coast in Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Levy, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties over the past week. For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.
  • Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported over the past week on the Florida Gulf Coast in Franklin, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee counties. For recent and current information at individual beaches, please visit https://visitbeaches.org/ and for forecasts that use FWC and partner data, please visit https://habforecast.gcoos.org/. 
  • Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Escambia to Gulf counties predict southern/southwestern movement of surface waters and eastern transport of subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3.5 days. Net southern movement of surface waters and minimal coastal movement of subsurface waters are predicted in most areas from Franklin to Pasco Counties. Net southern/southwestern movement of surface waters and southeastern transport of subsurface waters are predicted in most areas from Pinellas to northern Monroe Counties.


Piney Point Updates  —  Something Stinks In Our Leadership —  To blame Herr Von Obergruppenführer Desantis, the Governor of Florida,  and as a dedicated clone of  T-RUMP as Himmler was to Hitler,  Is a shoe-in, He is a dedicated partner of T-RUMPS Mini Gestapo,  A Total Frickin GOP Goose Stepping Sycophant And A Certified Member  Of  P.R.I.C.K.  —  

He defiantly will join the ranks of the incompetent Republican losers we have had as Governors and Senators like ass-kissing Rick Scott who defrauded Medicare of 1.7 billion dollars and Marco Rubio who is another SAK ( Superficial Ass Kisser)  His moves are under Investigation Now by various state agencies —  Tampa Bay Estuary Program  —  and Federal agencies — and so far results show his actions promoted the same effect as pouring gasoline on a fire. the peeing on it… 


Tampa Bay’s Red Tide  — Piney Point Disaster  — Not so dumb a question when you figure our jerk-off Governor is involved  and did Tampa Bay’s Red Tide be connected to the Piney Point disaster?     Yes, damn him, most of this is the fault of our T-RUMP mini-me ignorant Governor,   Herr Von “ Obergruppenführer” De Santis, Professional T-RUMP and Hitler Fan… the Florida Governor who OK'ed the spillage and a hundred other stupid party mess-ups in our state including putting kids in our classrooms together while Delta is the worst in our state.   If one kid dies because of his politics, he better leave town,  we’ll have to call the vigilantes… 

Dead fish are turning up.  We had hoped a few politicians were swimming with the fishes….  MAGA might really mean Make America Great  —  Assassinate!   

Hillsborough and Pinellas had issued health warnings.  A patchy bloom suspected to be the reason for fish kills on the Pinellas coast and around Port Manatee showed up two months after 215 million gallons of nutrient rich wastewater was pumped into the estuary from the site of an old fertilizer plant.

People already have suspicions. But can anyone know for sure whether harmful algae are feasting upon pollution from Piney Point?  “Nutrient chemistry in seawater is a complex issue, and this is certainly true for Tampa Bay,” said University of South Florida chemical oceanography professor Kristen Buck, who took samples after the Piney Point release. “Red Tides are also a complex phenomenon. At this point we simply do not have data to support a direct cause-and-effect relationship.”

While there may not be hard proof, yet Tampa Bay Estuary Program executive director Ed Sherwood said, it “doesn’t take much to put two and two together.”

“We didn’t see this level of algal production this time last year,” he said in an interview. And 2021 has brought uncommonly dry weather, meaning heavy rains have not washed excess nutrients, namely nitrogen, into Tampa Bay. That runoff would provide an obvious alternate source of fuel for the algae. 

The state’s wildlife agency said the release would not cause the organisms in Red Tide to appear in Tampa Bay, but nutrients in the wastewater could feed them once they arrive.

Scientists, including Buck, want to understand whether the specific nutrients found in wastewater at Piney Point match those being taken up by the organisms growing around the bay. They plan to use a kind of signature within different molecules — which may act as a natural tracer — allowing researchers to follow where nitrogen goes and how it gets used in the environment.   Sherwood described the process as similar to matching up a fingerprint. It will take time to get back results.

Thick mats of an algae called Lyngbya have blanketed waterways around Anna Maria Island in recent weeks, and Red Tide has been found at bloom levels near Port Manatee — where the Piney Point wastewater was discharged — and off Pinellas beaches around Pass-a-Grille, Redington Shores, Indian Shores and Sand Key.

Dead fish have been reported to be scattered at Sunset Beach, Madeira Beach and Indian Rocks Beach, among others, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as well as near the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

Health officials in both Hillsborough and Pinellas have issued advisories warning visitors they could experience mild respiratory issues, similar to a cold, when around a bloom.

Algae use nitrogen to grow. The polluted water at Piney Point put high levels of nitrogen into the bay. It was released with approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which said it feared that a leaking reservoir at the property could collapse. The state has vowed to hold the private landowner, HRK Holdings, accountable for damages.

Failure At Piney Point: Florida Let Environmental Risk Fester Despite Warnings  — Red Tide is not well-understood. The algae produce toxins that hurt marine life, and they may make people in the area suffer a cough, itchy throat and irritation in their eyes and noses. Blooms are typically more troublesome for those with chronic breathing problems like asthma.

Several research projects are underway in an effort to better understand the causes of blooms and ways to possibly mitigate their effects. Carly Jones, a spokesperson for the state Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, said “there is no direct link between nutrient pollution and the frequency or initiation of red tides caused by Karenia brevis” — the scientific name of the organism that has been found at elevated levels here.

“Piney Point didn’t cause the Red Tide in Tampa Bay,” Jones wrote in an email to the Tampa Bay Times, “but whether or not it might be a contributing factor is a possibility that we are looking into with a number of other collaborators.”

“We also just moved from drought conditions into Florida’s wet season and have started to see rain for the first time.  Both the drought and now the rain may also be playing a role in some of the patterns we have seen, on top of some of the complex ocean currents.”

Effluent flows from a pipe into a drainage ditch at Port Manatee South Gate on April 6, across from the old Piney Point phosphate plant site.   The excess nitrogen dumped into lower Tampa Bay from Piney Point, according to an estimate shared by Sherwood, is similar to pouring about 100,000 bags of fertilizer into the water over several days.

He said he never expected all the consequences would be immediately obvious. Contaminants from the wastewater, he said, have been pushed by winds, tides and currents through parts of the bay and out along the coast. They may have been used first by other organisms, but when those die, the nitrogen will get recycled through the ecosystem.


Contamination Of Piney Point Has Diluted Into Tampa Bay, Researchers Say  — 

Capt. Todd Romine, who fishes out of Holmes Beach, said there have been dead fish, especially pinfish and grunts, found around Port Manatee. He said those species are “very typical of a Red Tide fish kill.”

Red Tide is not everywhere, according to the conservation commission’s last update. Clean samples were pulled south of Tampa Bay, including in Sarasota Bay.   Romine believes the Piney Point discharge has some connection to the bloom. “Typically it would be late August or September during the rainy season when runoff is at a peak,” he said. “It’s tough enough without having a manmade additional problem like Piney Point dumping 215 million gallons ... into the bay.”

At a Thursday meeting of the Agency on Bay Management, a community organization that aims to protect Tampa Bay, Sherwood told scientists and government staffers that the Piney Point situation has drawn attention away from important restoration work.  A 2020 seagrass monitoring report found declines in acreage within Tampa Bay, which could be a warning sign for the overall health of parts of the estuary. The biggest losses were in Old Tampa Bay near Feather Sound, according to researchers. Bay managers who could be addressing algae problems there are instead consumed with the response to Piney Point.


Tampa Bay Lost 13 Percent Of Its Seagrass In Two Years, Study Shows  —  Seagrasses are a foundational part of the ecosystem because they provide food for animals such as manatees, habitat for nursing fish and natural filtration for the water. The Estuary Program is monitoring seagrass beds near Port Manatee to determine how they respond to the release and any potential algal blooms.

The region is a few years removed from a devastating Red Tide that struck the southern gulf coast, buffeting a tourism industry that is now trying to recover from the economic drag of the coronavirus pandemic’s local peak.

“We’re now in 2021 and potentially setting ourselves up to repeat those sorts of events,” Sherwood said in his presentation Thursday. The 2017-19 bloom caused tons of dead marine life to wash ashore across Florida’s west coast. Pinellas spent at least $7 million to clean up its shores.

People enjoy the water on the beach, most not paying attention to the occasional dead fish washed ashore after reports of Red Tide found in water samples along the Pinellas County coast.

Tampa Bay’s restoration is considered an environmental success that could sputter backward without vigilance. Advocates for decades have restored seagrasses and boosted water quality by pushing to reduce the nutrients dumped into the estuary by people, including in wastewater.

Nature relies on balance, they say, and a human-caused crisis like Piney Point threatens to upset the system.  “This is something that cascades through the environment in the weeks and months ahead,” Sherwood told those gathered Thursday. “We’re still in the throes of the response.”


— RED TIDE QUESTIONS —  

Here Are Some Answers By Barbara Kilpatrick

  • The toxin causes respiratory issues and skin irritation — but can also cause neurological problems and harm dogs, too.

  • Bill Sanders, 68,  has lost all hearing in his right ear. He was diagnosed with vestibular neuritis, which can remain dormant in the body for years.  Red Tide was the most likely trigger, an ear, nose and throat specialist told him.  He began coughing after about 15 minutes, so hard that it woke him up, and he developed a sore throat.   The next day, Sanders lost all hearing in his right ear.

  • He wishes there was more research on the impact of Red Tide on human health. He hadn’t realized it was anything more than a neighborhood stink bomb.  The algal bloom is caused by tiny marine organisms called Karenia brevis. They produce neurotoxins that can cause respiratory and neurological symptoms and skin irritation.

  • Red Tide has killed more than 1,624 tons of sea life in the Tampa Bay region, but the harmful effects to humans and pets are lesser known.  “We’ve had Red Tide in our waters for hundreds of years,” said Barbara Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observation System, “but as we populate our coastline, more people are being impacted.”   Scientists know this much about Red Tide: It causes sneezing, coughing and watery eyes in humans. Those with respiratory problems like asthma should stay away.  Covid can become a factor.  Add it up Covid, Red Tide, Asthmatic Problems, the perfect storm.

  • Kirkpatrick helped lead a 2014 study that examined a link between Red Tide and emergency room visits in six Florida counties. Researchers found an increase in hospital visits for respiratory and digestive illnesses, particularly among people 55 and older.     That echoed a study Kirkpatrick led a decade earlier, which found a 54 percent increase in the rate of admission for respiratory illnesses — asthma, bronchitis, upper airway disease or airway obstruction and pneumonia — at Sarasota Memorial Hospital during the 2002 bloom.

  • Researchers expected an uptick in asthma and bronchitis, but the rise in pneumonia surprised them.  Kirkpatrick said it made them wonder if the toxin was impeding the immune system.She also helped lead a study that followed 125 asthma patients for seven years, finding that exposure to intermittent Red Tide did not worsen their illness over time. But she said knowledge of the bloom’s long-term effects on other patient populations is limited.  “There’s a lot we still don’t know,” she said.
    Kirkpatrick recommends local residents to err on the side of caution when it comes to Red Tide. People who live near the coast should wear cloth or paper masks when walking outside, even if they’re just going from their house to their car, Kirkpatrick said.
    Those who work near the water, such as lifeguards, beach waiters and particularly city employees cleaning up dead fish, should wear more robust N-95 masks, she said.
    “We know it’s a potent toxin,” Kirkpatrick said. “Look at the number of fish killed.”

  • A 2005 study that Kirkpatrick helped lead showed a 24 percent increase in headaches among lifeguards during Red Tide blooms.  Another study led by Kirkpatrick reported an association between the Red Tide blooms of 2005 to 2009 and an increase in emergency room visits for headaches among patients ages 55 and older. The denser the bloom, the more headaches were reported.   Kirkpatrick is working on an extensive study with the Roskamp Institute, a nonprofit Sarasota lab that studies neurological disorders, that she hopes will reveal the long-term neurological impact of Red Tide. But it will take five years before the data and results are ready to share.

  • Brian Harris, 30, was fishing three miles from John’s Pass in Madeira Beach in early July when his fish trap got stuck in his propeller. He had to jump in the water and free the rope. He was back in the boat within minutes.
    The next day, he noticed red rashes on his back. Then on his legs, arms and shoulders. A dermatologist conducted a biopsy. Harris, a bait fisherman, kept working as rashes spread and worsened.  “I felt like my skin was on fire,” he said. “Like poison ivy, but hot.”  When the biopsy report came in, it showed Harris had hives set off by an environmental irritant — most likely Red Tide, his dermatologist told him.  

  • A pair of shrimp trawls are deployed by the "Black Pearl," a shrimp boat, to collect dead fish off Snell Island on July 16 in St. Petersburg.   Little research has been done on skin irritation caused by Red Tide, Kirkpatrick said. She’s trying to secure funding for such a study. But she’s received reports of people suffering from rashes after swimming in Red Tide and warns people to be careful.  Her advice to anyone who starts to get a rash or itchy skin: “Rinse off as quickly as you can in freshwater and minimize exposure.”


MANATEES 

Red Tide Suspected As Manatees Deaths Pile Up In Tampa Bay  — These manatee mortalities have met the criteria to be declared an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) by the Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed the UME determination. Moving forward, the FWC will continue to coordinate closely with our federal partners, participate in the investigative team, and conduct analyses related to the cause of the UME. Working with these partners, FWC staff will explore both short- and long-term and small- and large-scale response options, including aquatic habitat restoration.

  FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION 
MARINE MAMMAL PATHOBIOLOGY LABORATORY

—  2021 Preliminary Red Tide Manatee Mortalities,  Jan 01 – July 23  —   
Manatees Carcasses Collected Within  the Known Red Tide Bloom Boundary ( West Coast )

Red Tide Positive = 9 Red Tide Suspect = 23 Red Tide Total = 32 



SEAFOOD

Is Seafood Safe In The Tampa Bay Area During Red Tide  —  The Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa has received 27 calls about illnesses linked to Red Tide this year, said medical director Dr. Justin Arnold.  He knows that is an undercount.  “Not everyone calls us when they’re exposed to Red Tide,” Arnold said.

The most immediate and severe reaction to Red Tide exposure tends to come from eating shellfish that feed on infected toxic algae. The result is neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, Arnold said, which can cause symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures. Dead fish lie on the sand at Indian Shores Beach on June 10. They were likely killed by Red Tide,  A handful of the calls received by the center this year were from people who didn’t know eating recreationally harvested shellfish during a Red Tide bloom is dangerous, Arnold said.

They said:   Seafood in restaurants and grocery stores is safe because it is caught offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, and the state rigorously monitors and shuts down commercial shellfish beds at the first sign of Red Tide.    

Sidebar:  I Disagree Emphatically  —  When I see shellfish and fish deliveries 6 am at restaurants they are from commercial vendors and distributors who buy world wide and from overseas sources supposedly checked by our inspectors.   https://www.seafoodsource.com/seafood-handbook.com 

Example:   At Least 1,000 Indian Shrimp Containers Stranded In Chinese Ports  —  Between 1,000 and 1,200 containers of shrimp belonging to at least 50 Indian exporters are currently stuck in Chinese ports.

The containers, which each hold around 16 metric tons (MT) of frozen shrimp, are collectively worth INR 12 billion (USD 160.6 million, EUR 136.3 million), The New Indian Express reported on 21 July.

Half of the 50 exporters are from Andhra Pradesh, the largest shrimp-producing state in India. Their permissions to export to China were suspended after Chinese authorities said traces of COVID-19 were detected on the packaging containing their shrimp.

“It has been nearly two months since our exports have been blocked. They are neither clearing the containers from the ports nor clarifying if we can bring them back,” India Seafood Exporters Association Region President Aluri Indra Kumar said. Kumar said the owners of the containers will suffer heavy losses if the delay in clearance continues.


PROTECTION FOR YOU AND YOUR PET


Protect Your Pooch — St. Petersburg Animal Hospital and Urgent Care has seen nearly 10 dogs for illnesses relating to Red Tide in the last month, said Dr. Brett Zager.   That’s a high number, the veterinarian said.  Owners have brought dogs in after taking their pets to the beach and seeing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and fever, Zager said. The common diagnosis is gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

If a dog comes into urgent care within two hours of eating a dead fish, Zager said, the vet would induce vomiting. Depending on the symptoms, dogs also may be given antibiotics or a few hours of IV fluids to rehydrate.


Protect Yourself  — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a website that tracks where Red Tide is detected.   Florida Poison Control Centers have a toll-free 24/7 hotline to report illnesses, including from exposure to Red Tide: 1-800-222-1222

 To report dead fish for clean-up in Tampa Bay, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-800-636-0511 or file a fish kill report online.

 In St. Petersburg, call the Mayor’s Action Center at 727-893-7111 or use St. Petersburg’s seeclickfix website.
 Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, the county’s tourism wing, runs an online beach dashboard at www.beachesupdate.com.

 Do not swim around dead fish.  Those with chronic respiratory problems should be careful and stay away from places with a Red Tide bloom. Leave if you think Red Tide is affecting you.   Do not harvest or eat mollusks or distressed and dead fish from the area.  Fillets of healthy fish should be rinsed with clean Water, and the guts thrown out. 

Locally,  People should not fish in Red Tide bloom patches or areas where the water is significantly discolored, Kirkpatrick said. When fishing in other areas, only eat the fish that vigorously fight on the line, because that means they aren’t loaded with neurotoxins.  Toxin accumulates in the gut of the fish, she said, so throw out the guts and only eat the filleted meat.

 Pet owners should keep their animals away from the water and from dead fish.   Residents living near the beach should close their windows and run air conditioners with proper filters.  • Beachgoers can protect themselves by wearing masks.



10/21/2021   aljacobsladder.com