The cost of dirty water: dead fish, birds, manatees and a shark

Manatees dying at cape Coral yacht club

Posted by Dave Morton on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A crowd formed on the docks of South Florida’s Cape Coral Yacht Club on Tuesday for a grim sight: a manatee’s carcass being dragged onto a slick metal trailer to be covered up and hauled away.

This manatee’s fate was like that of so many other manatees, fish, birds, sea turtles and a whale shark this summer: red tide poisoning.

Red tide is a type of algae that grows rapidly and produces toxins, according to the Miami Herald, and this year’s tide is the worst in over a decade.

Two things made this year’s red tide especially bad: pollution and heat.

The Palm Beach Post reminds us of that little thing called climate change.

The red tide came as scientists released the annual “State of the Climate” report, which warns of increasing ecological tragedies in a warming climate, the Post reports.

“I find it stunning actually to see the extent of how these record warm temperatures affect very important parts of our ecosystem,” said Greg Johnson, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oceanographer who co-presented the report, the Post reports.

And if, for some reason, you don’t care about the climate or environment, the red tide is hurting business, too.

The Post called it “a gut punch to summer tourism.”

“Right now, if you go out in the bay, you don’t see any dead fish because I don’t think there are any fish left in the bay to kill,” said Craig Hickok, owner of Island Jet Ski Tours in Englewood, told the paper. “It used to be like an aquarium at my marina, and I look around now and there’s nothing. No life. It’s awful.”

(h/t: Will Lager)