Red Tide kills thousands of fish in Siesta Key

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While the toxic algae blooms known as "red tides" are common off the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is calling the current event the worst in a decade.

Samples were collected at 19 stations spanning from the mouth of Tampa Bay to the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River.

"Over the past week, reports were received for multiple locations in Sarasota County, in Charlotte County, in and offshore of Lee County, and in Collier County".

"During my time in office, we have invested millions of dollars to research and mitigate red tide along Florida's Gulf Coast", Scott said in a statement.

An unusual number of dead animals have been washing up on Florida's shores this summer.

There's a water crisis in Southwest Florida that is wreaking havoc on wildlife.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say controlling the red tide is complicated. But things like sewage and fertilizer runoff can fuel the growth of a bloom once it reaches the area.

Tourists weren't scattered on beaches in southwest Florida on Thursday, but hundreds of dead fish were.

"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.

For people with severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as emphysema or asthma, red tide can cause serious illness. The toxins in the creatures can't be destroyed by cooking and freezing, and if you eat it you can get sick.

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