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How often do red tides occur on Florida's Gulf Coast?

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Every year, although some stay off shore where residents may not even notice them. Q: Red tide is the result of a naturally occurring alga, correct? A: Yes, the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, is a single-celled organism called a dinoflagellate. It occurs naturally throughout the Gulf, causing problems when the population of cells increases dramatically to a "bloom." Although red tide is naturally occurring, a major focus of Mote's research is attempting to determine if coastal pollution enhances red tide blooms along the coast. Q: A Mote Magazine article (winter 2005) on red tide said that "when (K. brevis) multiplies as it moves in some warm, nutrient-abundant coastal waters, it can bloom, creating a red tide." We know there are naturally occurring nutrients in the Gulf and bays. Is there proof or evidence that human-generated pollutants contained in storm-water runoff -- namely, nitrogen in fertilizers -- cause, trigger, exacerbate, intensify or prolong red tide outbreaks and ... more
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