*A toxic algae bloom in Florida is slaughtering marine life by the masses*
Thousands of dead marine animals are piling up on Florida's southwest beaches. They're clogging inlets and canals. On some beaches, it's impossible to walk without tiptoeing around the bodies. Conditions are so bad that the governor called an emergency order. The reason: a raging toxic algae bloom, known as red tide.
The bloom has killed fish, sea turtles, seabirds, a shark and multiple manatees.
Florida and Texas deal with red tides each year, but this one's effects are unprecedented. It's been more than a decade since the Gulf of Mexico has had bloom that lasted this long, said Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials. About 100 miles of shoreline are affected by the red tide so far, and officials don't know much about when it's going to end.
"It's hard to predict more than a few days out," Michelle Kerr, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Most algal blooms aren't harmful. In fact, they're actually helpful as a major energy source in the ocean's food web. Red tides have been reported in all US coastal states, and it's possible they'll start happening more often, NOAA says.