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posted by martyb on Tuesday July 20, @09:58PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Better-ask-Betteridge dept.

Florida swamped by red tide – but is fertilizer plant spill making it worse?:

Piles of dead fish, dolphins, turtles and manatees are rotting on the shorelines of coastal Florida in a soup of reddish brown ocean water after a devastating so-called "red tide" algal bloom struck sea life in the region.

The city council in St Petersburg, Florida, called for a state of emergency last week saying that crews need help getting the dead sea creatures cleaned up from the beaches. In the Pinellas county area, more than 800 tons of dead fish and sea life have washed ashore – and the smell is already hitting the cities.

Red tides do happen in the area, but this year's incident is so serious that it is causing some experts to wonder if a pollution accident at a former fertilizer plant called Piney Point could be a reason it is so bad.

In March, a dam at a reservoir at the defunct plant that stored phosphate wastewater began to fail, prompting temporary evacuations of nearby residents on 1 April. Two days later, Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, issued a state of emergency. The plant released 215m gallons of contaminated water into Tampa Bay in an effort to prevent the reservoir's collapse.

[...] Blooms usually start in the fall and go away by January, but summer blooms in the area have occurred a handful of times in more recent history: 1995, 2005 and, most recently, 2018. That year, a long-lasting red tide bloom killed sea life as large as manatees and dolphins, caused widespread health effects and drove tourists away from beaches.


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  • (Score: 1, Troll) by MIRV888 on Tuesday July 20, @10:08PM (2 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Tuesday July 20, @10:08PM (#1158467)

    Perhaps a blockade of some sort could prevent it.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @10:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @10:21PM (#1158477)

      Nah, just another Florida Man meme, they all stink like rotten fish.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @04:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @04:27PM (#1158777)

      I agree, but people want to go to Spring Break, I can't imagine how you'd keep them from returning home afterwards...

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Mykl on Tuesday July 20, @10:40PM (1 child)

    by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday July 20, @10:40PM (#1158483)

    ... Oh! The Hued Manatee!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @11:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @11:10PM (#1158948)

      About 398 results (0.38 seconds)

      Not first, but top 500. Rareness quality +1

  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday July 20, @10:44PM (2 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday July 20, @10:44PM (#1158485)

    I have to wonder how widespread the, er, "inattention" was to this and like problems during what appears to be a temporally-localized recent few years [theguardian.com]. And if other loose-cannon activist structural engineers are searching the recent archives for other reports to predict other similar imminent/proximate events.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 20, @11:50PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 20, @11:50PM (#1158508)

      Piney Point is pure political purchasing power on parade. Buy the rights to overfill a retention pond, under-engineer the retaining walls, etc. and then flee the country with the profits. Florida has more in common with the Banana Republics than the weather.

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @01:14AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @01:14AM (#1158543)

        Damn! Try saying your alliterative first sentence five times as fast as you can!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 20, @11:44PM (3 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 20, @11:44PM (#1158505)

    Piney Point runoff wasn't just phosphate rich, it was also rich in radioactive elements - if they have a baseline from prior years they should be able to detect increased levels of radioactivity in the dead fish - assuming the two don't strongly separate in the ocean water.

    --
    My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:55PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:55PM (#1158512)

      They probably don't really want to know. Besides, nobody but the locals are going to pay for it. Florida isn't exactly a pleasant place to be right now. It's being run like one big giant condo association.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 21, @02:55AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 21, @02:55AM (#1158594)

        Condo associations run their business better than Florida is being run right now, and yes that includes the one that collapsed recently.

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @11:14PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @11:14PM (#1158950)

        They're also looking to offload all the flood defense costs onto the federal govt. While building building building in the swamp.

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday July 21, @12:07AM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 21, @12:07AM (#1158519) Homepage Journal

    But is Fertilizer Plant Spill Making It Worse?

    It's safe to say that the spill isn't making things better.

    --
    Make an actual interesting, germane, and relevant point and you may get away with Flamebait - 'Zumi
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @11:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @11:16PM (#1158953)

      Are you not magnanimous! Granting a point, +1 to you Sir.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @12:17AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @12:17AM (#1158524)

    I blame the Trumps having moved there.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:12AM (#1158570)

    "This red tide is another reason we need to keep black people from voting."

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