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  1. All Eyes

A look back at the Red Tide outbreak in 2005

It’s an old problem in Florida, dating back to colonial days when Conquistadors first documented it, said Quay Dortch, the ecology and oceanography of harmful algae blooms program manager for the National Ocean Service.
From August 9, 2005: Paul DeChene, left, and J.D. Wright pick up a dead fish that washed up as a result of red tide on Indian Shores Beach. Officials and temporary workers have been picking up fish killed by red tide every day since mid-June. (James Borchuck, Tampa Bay Times)
Published Aug. 7, 2018
Updated Aug. 9, 2018

Robert Weisberg, a professor and oceanographer at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science, says this year’s bloom is the worst red tide season he remembers since 2005, and what finally destroyed that bloom was Hurricane Katrina.

"This is the worst season in the last decade," said Robert Weisberg, a professor and oceanographer at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science. "And I doubt it’s going to go away anytime soon.

“I think it’s going to get worse.”

We take a look at some of mess from the red tide bloom of 2005.

From July 5, 2005: Red Tide continues to plague parts of the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront. Up into Coffee Pot Bayou near Bird Island, the effects are still quite prevalent with thousands of dead fish floating in the water including a black drum that was lodged on a dock along Coffee Pot Blvd. (Times files, 2005)
From July 5, 2005: Red Tide continues to plague parts of the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront. Up into Coffee Pot Bayou near Bird Island the effects are still quite prevalent with thousands of dead fish floating in the water including a black drum that was lodged on a dock along Coffee Pot Blvd. (Times files, 2005)
From Sept. 14, 2005: Bob Browning, Park District Supervisor at Fort De Soto Park, checks on a dead sea turtle that was found at the park that morning, one of several they have seen recently. (Douglas R. Clifford, Tampa Bay Times)
From June 16, 2005: The Stewart family of Plant City watches as the city of Treasure Island sent a crew out to clean dead fish from Treasure Island Beach, washed up due to the red tide. (Times files, 2005)
From July 12, 2005: Hundreds of dead fish float on the surface of Tampa Bay at Maximo Point in St. Petersburg. Tampa Bay and Pinellas County experienced one of the worst red tide outbreaks in recent years, and the passing of Hurricane Dennis did not help. (James Borchuck, Tampa Bay Times)
From September 28, 2005: A young male manatee raises its snout above the surface of the water for a breath of fresh air while swimming inside a pool at Lowry Park Zoo's David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Hospital. According to zoo officials, the manatee was rescued from Lemon Bay in Charlotte County. Knicknamed "Beasleywood", a combination of the name of one of the resuers and Englewood, the area near where it was found, the two-year-old male was suffering from red tide symptoms when it arrived at the hospital. (Times files, 2005)
From June 30, 2005: Brian Wolverton, of Orlando, was exiting the Dali museum when he saw a crowd of people looking into the water and pointing. He stood on a dock at the Harborage Marina at Bayboro and took photos of sharks that had been drawn into the bay by red tide. Several sharks -- many of them bull, according to Ernst Peebles, research associate at the USF College of Marine Science -- kept visitors and scholars entertained for hours between the USF St. Petersburg campus and the canal that runs along the south side of the Harborage Marina. (Times files, 2005)
From June 28th, 2005: A blacktip shark struggles in the water near Ft. De Soto, due to the effects of the red tide. Seasoned fishermen nearby estimated the shark was about six feet long and 100 pounds. (Mary Mathias, Special to the Times)


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