Slimy Green Beaches May Be Florida's New Normal
The guacamole-thick algae that fouled both coasts earlier in July will likely be a regular occurrence for the Sunshine State. Here’s why.
The green slime that washed onto Florida beaches earlier this month marks the eighth time since 2004 that toxic algae have fouled the Sunshine State’s storied coastline.
The algae blooms of 2013 were so severe the event became known as Toxic Summer. And this year’s outbreak has so thoroughly spread through delicate estuaries on both coasts that Florida officials declared a state of emergency in four counties. Toxic sludge has killed fish, shellfish, and at least one manatee and has sickened people who have touched it.
“This is absolutely the worst,” says Evan Miller, an environmental activist and founder of Citizens for Clean Water. Miller lives in the tourist town of Stuart, 110 miles (177 kilometers) north of Miami. “We’ve