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How does the red tide compare to the Lake Erie algal bloom?

Spring break is right around the corner but you may want to think twice before enjoying Florida's Gulf Coast.

OHIO, USA — Spring break is right around the corner but if you're thinking of hitting the beach in Florida, you may want to consider a change of plans.

Red tide has been stopping beachgoers from going into the sea due to its powerful toxins that are harming many people and marine life, but it is these same algae bloom we see on Lake Erie.

The red tide that people in Florida’s Gulf Coast are experiencing right now is a bloom of algae, which is not unlike what we see in the western basin of Lake Erie. 

While it may be a different kind of algae, at its very root, algae are very simple life forms. Both blooms will produce toxins but the toxins are different. The blooms which we find in Lake Erie generally produce hepatotoxins that target the liver. The blooms in the red tide produce brevotoxins, which target the central nervous system.

The red tide usually blooms during the summer months but the warmer temperatures, along with the path of Hurricane Ian, have truly sped up the process of how these algae blooms come close to shore.

The cells will often reside on the bottom of the ocean until there is some sort of a stimulus that promotes them to be reactivated to start growing. It is possible when the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast of Florida, it could have stirred up the water column.

Before heading down to Florida to find out where you can avoid the red tide and still enjoy your spring break vacation, click here for more information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.



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