Red tide packs up for Summer 2023


Photo Credit: Sophia Walck

Sophia Walck, News Editor

Over the past several weeks, red tide has infected almost every coast in Florida, especially in Tampa Bay, Sarasota, and Anna Maria; a few Floridian favorites. Over spring break, having a beach day was a disappointment to many, as whole beaches were covered in the carcasses of dead fish. Red tide, by definition, is a discoloration of seawater caused by a bloom of toxic red dinoflagellates, but it is so much more. Red tide’s algae infection is caused largely by climate change warming the water temperature. Climate change can then cause blooms through warmer water temperatures, or changes in salinity and rainfall. This microbe-infected water is not in any way suitable for any species to live in, causing a mass killing of aquatic animals like fish.

   “The stench was unbearable,” says Newsome student Brandon Marchese. “We couldn’t even go in the water, everyone was coughing.” Marchese is not the only student who had hoped to have a beachy break and was met with disappointment. Student Emma Ymeri complains about how the red tide ruined her time in the water: “It was sad because I didn’t see any animals in the water. There are usually a bunch of fish. I always go in salt water for health benefits, but I couldn’t this time.”

   Red tide has been known to have effects on people, especially those with asthma. The surrounding air from the red tide makes it hard to breathe, causing coughing, sneezing and teary eyes. Fortunately, red tide appears to be letting up, just in time for summer.

   According to, most concentrations found on Florida beaches have been lowering. “I’m excited that the red tide is decreasing; I was really hoping to be able to get in the water this summer,” says visiting Oklahoman Reese Williams.

 While there is nothing one can really do on an individual level to directly reverse the red tide, reversing the effects of global warming will eventually help this issue. Until then, each time the red tide comes around, it will be worse than the last.