CREATED Mar. 8, 2013
It is wiping out fish populations, causing breathing problems and red tide is killing the Florida Manatee. It is tough to see up close, but natural resource specialist Amber Crooks said red tide algae attacks with a vengeance.
" SWFL is one of the more threatened areas for the manatee, populations are more at risk so the fact we're having a lot of deaths to red tide is very concerning." Crooks said.
This year alone, red tide has killed 149 Florida manatees. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife reports it is the deadliest outbreak in the past decade. Amber said red tide surrounds the manatees.
" Not only exposed to it in the water, but also through the food they're ingesting." Crooks said.
Groups like FWC and Conservancy of Southwest Florida work hard to protect the endangered species. But natural resource director Jennifer Hecker said we also need to do our part.
"Nutrient pollution comes from things like fertilizers, pet waste human waste, those fertilizers just like they feed plants in our yards they feed algae on water ways." Hecker said.
If you're out on the beach or near the water and notice a dead or sick manatee call Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission at 1-800-404-F-W-C-C