Tourists weren’t scattered across Sarasota and Charlotte County beaches on Thursday, but hundreds of dead fish were.
The Herald-Tribune reports that visitors piled into the parking lot of Venice Beach, got out of their cars, started hacking, coughing and sneezing and then quickly left.
A bloom of red tide algae has swept in from Naples to Tampa, killing marine life and tourism in its path. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reports that dead fish have been found in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier and Monroe counties.
This is not the first time red tide has been so intense- scientists at Mote told the AP there was an 18-month bloom that spanned the state from 2004-2006.