Well, we are past the tipping point because now if we want to spend the day in the water, instead of checking to see if some beach is closed, instead we must see which beach is open. This is because of either red tide, blue algae or sewage spills.
The norm is now polluted instead of swimmable. Consider most closed but check and maybe one will be open.
For this we can thank Rick Scott, Ron DeSantis and a series of DEP leaders and also our water management districts (and some of their predecessors). Water managers perhaps have less blame since they do the bidding of DEP, the governor and , ultimately, the lobbyists.
The people who are supposed to be taking care of our water are taking care of polluters instead of the water and the reason is money.
Read the original article here on Tampa Bay 10 News. The interactive maps linked below cover all parts of the state, not just the Tampa area.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
‘It Can Be Very Patchy’: Scientists Work to Map Healthy Beaches to Help Beachgoers Avoid Red Tide
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — The weekend has arrived and people have made plans which include going to the beach.
However, red tide has been getting worse out at some of our popular beach spots. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, red tide is a common name for Karenia brevis, a harmful algal bloom that kills marine life when it occurs.
But there is a team effort underway through science and technology to try and help beachgoers plan better.
Mote Marine Lab researchers, Florida Fish and Wildlife and the Health Department hope making up-to-date beach water conditions accessible on mobile technology would make a difference.
Alongside their standard sample collection to check for bacteria levels, environmental scientists from the health department have been collecting samples to check for red tide cell counts.
“I grabbed a few samples one that we take over to benchmark to test for bacteria and another sample for Mote Marine,” said Ricky Montedonico.
Montedonico is based in Sarasota and is part of the team that check’s the county’s 16 beaches. After he has waded into the ocean and collected water samples, he puts iodine into the small bottles and stores them in a cooler of ice.
“This is iodine, I believe it just makes it easier for Mote Marine to figure out how much red tide is in there,” Montedonico said.
The samples are then hand-delivered to biologists at the Mote Marine Lab who check for the presence of red tide toxins which is what causes all the problems.
The data is then analyzed and the required information is uploaded to Mote’s website visitbeaches.org and its mobile app.
“This provides the red tide cell counts to citizens so they are aware of conditions at the beach and for tourists that come to Florida,” said Devin Burris, a biologist with Mote Marine Lab.
Officials say the “healthy beaches” samples are often the first time they are able to see when there are elevated red tide cell counts in our area’s waters.
Florida Fish and Wildlife also depends on the samples for its daily and weekly red tide reports….