An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Red tide: How oyster beds naturally filter harmful nutrients, brevetoxins from Tampa Bay water

TAMPA – For the second time in under five years, a large harmful algal bloom has plagued the Tampa Bay waters – killing more than 600 tons of fish and marine life.

Red tide may be naturally occurring but anthropogenic factors help fuel a red tide event, keeping it going for longer and making the bloom larger. Many solutions are being researched to help an ongoing red tide but one local non-profit organization is looking to filter our waters in a completely natural way, both before and during a major red tide event.

Shelby Thomas with the Ocean Rescue Alliance is looking to plant oyster beds and more mangroves along our shorelines. Oysters and mangroves are nature’s water treatment plants.

To understand what is filtered, it is important to know how a red tide bloom event starts.