The USA’s Florida Southern Gulf Coast has been experiencing a severe red tide algae bloom since November 2017.
This particular event is very strong, resulting in major fish kills and disagreeable air quality on the beach. Red tide is a type of toxic algae that naturally blooms almost every year in Florida. It often dissipates in a few weeks or a month or so. This particular bloom is very strong and has resulted in a state of emergency being declared for the affected areas. Because the tide causes breathing problems, tourism has been severely affected.
Scientists at the Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL are conducting experiments to combat the spread of the red tide and prepare for future outbreaks. They are testing a process that
pulls red-tide-infected water from canals into 25,000 galloon tanks, treats it with ozone and pumps it back into the ocean. The initial experiments were successful in removing the red
tide and its toxins and the water chemistry returned to normal within 24 hours. This experiment was featured on several television news shows including CBS and PBS. On September 23, 2018, Florida Governor, Rick Scott approved a $2.2 million grant to Mote Marine Laboratory to
expand its ozone treatment systems and to conduct new field testing of a specialized clay focused on quelling red tide. The testing should start within a few months.