She began treating poisoned birds as early as October. "I am on vacation, so I'm trying to make the most out of it".
It's so bad that Lee County commissioners declared a local state of emergency and need funding to remove the massive amounts of dead fish.
Red tide, which refers to higher than normal algae blooms of the organism Karenia brevis, happens nearly annually and has been a natural occurrence for centuries.
Mote Marine Laboratory scientists caution that time is of the essence in delivering care to an animal sickened by red tide. The bloom can grow or dissipate based on nutrients in the water, as well as the speed and direction of water currents and wind speeds.
Frequent, strong weather systems can help to break up the bloom.
Red tide is the name given to the blooms of a species of microorganisms that have a distinct red colour.
The blooms are killing fish and marine life. A map released by FWC officials on Wednesday shows a red tide hot zone stretching from Manasota Beach in the south up to Sarasota in the north. And Tuesday, as hundreds of residents packed a standing-room-only Cape Coral yacht club to hear about the federal government's efforts to deal with water conditions, a dead manatee washed up at a nearby boat ramp.
Dozens of sea turtles are also turning up dead. Several news outlets reported that a dead manatee was also recovered off the Florida coast, and at least one biologist found evidence the red tide may have killed a whale shark.
Sea turtles, manatees, fish and other animals are seeing a spike in their mortality rate during 2018, especially in Southwest Florida. Polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee are blamed for the toxic algae problems.
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