The Stanwich Post

  • EDITION VIII. Issue 2. ***Student Government Formed; Story Below***

Classroom Study Becomes Reality: ‘Red Tide’ Appears in Florida

Carylin Rivera, Reporter

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NEWSROOM – In South Florida a rare “red-tide” has appeared off of the Palm Beach County.

The phenomenon of Red Tide, discussed in high school Environmental Science, is the discoloration of water when a sudden toxic algal bloom of Karenia brevis, is caused by dinoflagellates.

Across Florida’s southwest coast there is a trail of marine life such as sea turtles and fish left dead due to the red tide, according to the Miami Herald.

Heather Baron, Research director at CROW stated, “wildlife is the canary in a coal mine.  It’s the thing that’s telling us your environment is unhealthy.” [quote from the Miami Herald.]

This environmental disaster has been hitting Florida since last fall and has been ignored for far too long.

According to the article in the Miami Herald, the red tide is the fault of Florida’s elected leaders.  “For the past eight years, these leaders favored business and agricultural interests over people and environment – and this is the result of dismantling environmental regulations like regular inspections of septic tanks that were meant to protect Florida’s fragile ecosystems.”

Governors in Florida are trying to play off the red tide as solely naturally occurring but scientists are saying there’s evidence to the blooms being partly caused by human activities, according to Sun Sational.

Larry Brand, professor of marine biology and an expert on red tide at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, said, “the abundance of [red tide] now is the result of human activities, basically nutrient runoff from land.”

It is suspected by Karl Havens, professor of fisheries and aquatic sciences at the University of Florida and director of the Florida Sea Grant program, that the most recent algal blooms in Florida have started with Hurricane Irma.

Mr.Havens also believes there needs to be more research to definitely link fertilizers washing off lands to heavy blooms of red tide.

Although the abundant flow of nutrients from our lands this year coincide with the algal bloom we cannot assume that this is the main cause although it makes sense, according to Mr.Havens.

Our last big algal bloom in New England waters was in 2005, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. But just because red tide is not as common in our waters does not mean we shouldn’t be well educated on where they are, why they are happening, and how we can help stop them.

Story by Carylin Rivera, Reporter

Edited by Ted Frascella, Editor in Chief

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Classroom Study Becomes Reality: ‘Red Tide’ Appears in Florida