Link between Gulf’s Dead Zone and Florida’s Red Tide

“[I]t’s like all the waters [from the Mississippi River] are moving to the east.”

Florida Red Tide -

Dead fish on Florida’s shore due to Red Tide

Robert Arnone is a Mississippi River professor who analyzes water flow into and around the Gulf of Mexico. For nearly half a year, the waters of the Gulf have been pushing eastward, contributing to the devastating Red Tide that has decimated the fish population, closed too many beaches to count, and ruined the livelihood of many fishermen and tourist attractions, according to The Tampa Bay Times.

The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone has been a focus of the Mississippi River Collaborative for over a decade. Caused by nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, the oxygen-free zone destroys marine life and harms human health. This year, the flow of Gulf waters eastward has contributed to the horrific Red Tide that continues to plague Florida coastlines, with manatees and sea turtles among the casualties.

“Both Florida and the federal government could have stepped in years ago to regulate nitrogen and phosphorus pollution but chose to sit on their hands,” said Matt Rota of the Gulf Restoration Network, a Mississippi River Collaborative member, in a guest column in The Advocate. “We continue to hear that voluntary actions can fix the problem. It’s clearly not working. Florida’s red tide and blue-green algae outbreaks show it’s only getting worse.”

Read more about the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone.

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