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Red tide bloom makes its way to southwest Florida bays

Turtle conservationists have seen seven dead Kemp’s ridley sea turtles and one dead loggerhead at Bonita Beach and Fort Myers Beach.
In this August 2019 file photo, fish killed by red tide can be seen at Pass-a-Grille beach. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE   |   Times]
In this August 2019 file photo, fish killed by red tide can be seen at Pass-a-Grille beach. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times]
Published Oct. 18
Updated Oct. 18

FORT MYERS BEACH — Scientists say a red tide bloom is making its way into southwest Florida bays and killing sea turtles.

The Fort Myers News-Press reports turtle conservationists have seen seven dead Kemp’s ridley sea turtles and one dead loggerhead at Bonita Beach and Fort Myers Beach. Boats struck three of the turtles, but it is not clear if they were already dead when that happened.

Red tide happens due to the presence of nutrients in salt water and also causes respiratory irritation in people. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says people in the coasts of Fort Myers and Naples may feel respiratory problems over the weekend.

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s water quality scientists say that conditions are not as bad as 2018, when the bloom killed hundreds of sea turtles and dolphins.

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