What Is Red Tide and Why Is It Plaguing Florida Beaches?

Particles of karenia brevis toxins release into the air when thrashed around by ocean waves. For some people, that can cause coughing and sore throats when it’s breathed in.

Red Tide is officially known as Harmful Algal Blooms, and they periodically occur in oceans. Right now, the west coast of Florida is taking a hit.

Dead fish of all sizes washed onto the shore with the tides.

"There's just, there's just dead fish everywhere,” one beachgoer told WINK.

The harmful algae in the Gulf of Mexico waters off of Florida is called karenia brevis. It causes oxygen levels in the water to drop greatly, killing marine life. For some people, karenia brevis can cause coughing and sore throats when it’s breathed in.

"My wife's been coughing and I've been coughing. We're actually leaving now because I got like a scratchy throat," the beachgoer told WINK.

Another beachgoer told WINK that he experienced Red Tide and has been coughing.

"I was stunned when I saw this. We saw some big fish this morning. But this is incredible. There's no words for it,” another local told WINK.

Humans don’t cause Red Tide, but they can make it worse. Red Tides occur naturally, but rising air and ocean temperatures could mean the harmful algae blooms are larger and more frequent.

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