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Project April 27, 2021

The Impacts of Piney Point Wastewater on a Forming Red Tide

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A sign reads "Florida Red Tide Present" in front of pedestrians walking to and from Siesta Beach in Florida.
A red tide warning sign greets beachgoers as they walk onto Siesta Beach on April 18, 2021. Image by Hannah Farrow. United States, 2021.

The state of Florida recently dumped 215 million gallons of wastewater from a fertilizer plant into Tampa Bay.

Simultaneously, on the coast of Sarasota, a harmful algal bloom, better known as Florida's red tide, has been forming over the past couple weeks. Scientists, lawmakers, and local residents are waiting to see if and how the waste will interact with the bloom—especially given that before the pandemic hit Floridians were just starting to recover from a terrible red tide in 2018.

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