A record 589 sea turtles reportedly have died because of Florida’s toxic red tide. It is now the longest red tide on record in more than a decade off the southwest coast of Florida. It began in October 2017 and has not only devastated the state’s sea turtle population, but also manatees and bottlenose dolphins.
According to figures from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there have been 213 manatee deaths. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 127 bottlenose dolphins were stranded along the southwest coast along with massive amounts of fish being killed from toxic algae bloom.
The sea turtles mostly affected by the red tide include loggerhead and Kemp’s ridley both of which are federally protected. Kemp’s ridleys are said to be “the world’s most endangered marine turtle,” EcoWatch reported.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida announced his dedication to protecting the state’s environment and water by “securing $2.5 Billion over the next four years for Everglades restoration and protection of water resources.”
“Our water and natural resources are the foundation of our economy and our way of life in Florida, ” Gov. Desantis said on Twitter. “So today, I’m signing an Executive Order to take immediate action to protect our environment and our water.”