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

Water-Related News

Was Florida red tide made worse by Hurricane Ian? Here’s what we know

Red tide researchers agree: The toxic algae would still be flaring up — with or without the powerful Category 4 storm.

Hurricane Ian slammed the state less than three weeks before red tide appeared, leading many to link the storm with the toxic algae’s return. But what role, if any, did Ian play in the arrival of this latest red tide? We asked experts at three Florida universities, plus two leading state and federal scientists, and their answers boiled down to these main points:

Red tide would still be flaring up, with or without the hurricane; it’s still possible the storm brought red tide closer to shore; the present red tide today is likely no longer feeding on pollution dumped by Ian months ago, and Ian proved scientists still have much to learn about the relationship between storms and toxic algal blooms.