Congressman David Jolly is asking the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration to do something about a Red Tide bloom amassing in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
In a letter to NOAA, Jolly writes that he is concerned about the bloom’s affects on fisheries and habitats in the waters off the coast of Pinellas County.
“Pinellas County is home to a large and diverse economy based largely on the marine environment. The last major Karenia brevis bloom in 2005 significantly impacted our fisheries, the marine recreation industry and the local tourism industry. The current bloom poses threat to our economy in much the same way.”
Specifically, Jolly is asking NOAA for more resources to study and prevent future harmful algae blooms.
The bloom has been lingering off Florida’s coast since early last month. The swath is about 5-10 miles off the Pinellas coast and spans 90-miles long and 60-miles wide.
According to a WTSP report Tuesday, officials at Honeymoon Island State Park are blaming the bloom on dead fish washing ashore.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission calls the red tide “patchy.” According to its most recent update, no inshore or alongshore fish deaths have been reported, but there have been fish kills in bottom waters in the bloom.
Jolly is planning a boat trip on Thursday with researchers to evaluate how much of a threat the bloom poses.