Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Floridians are familiar with red tide, algae bloom outbreaks that occur along the Gulf Coast beaches every summer. This year's red tide blooms have been the worst many locals have ever experienced, lasting longer, covering a larger area, and killing more marine life.
Divers have documented a dead zone 20 miles offshore in the Gulf Shore from Johns Pass to Clearwater. And by dead zone, diver Mike Miller said, "I'm talking zero things are alive out there. The only way to describe it is a nuclear bomb."
Scientists theorize that the red tide blooms (caused by the microscopic troublemaker algae, Karenia brevis) became trapped underneath a thermocline, or a zone of colder water, which has forced the bloom to stay in the area much longer than normal.
Florida is one weird place.