Researchers Investigate What’s Making Florida’s Red Tide so Bad for So Long

Scientists are investigating whether the phenomenon is getting a "booster shot" from man-made pollutants

Florida is dealing with a toxic red tide that is killing vast numbers of fish and other wildlife on the Gulf Coast.

NBC News reports that, while the governor's office emphasized in declaring an emergency that red tides are "naturally occurring," scientists are investigating whether the phenomenon is getting a "booster shot" from man-made pollutants spilling into the ocean from inland waterways like Lake Okeechobee.

"We are looking for signature types of nitrogen, like those in the lake, to see if they scoot right through and into the Gulf, where the red tide is," said Florida Gulf Coast University environmental science professor Bill Mitsch, director of Everglades Wetlands Research Park.

If that's the case, it would likely reinvigorate calls for greater regulation of agricultural runoff from crops in South Florida.

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