b'FEATURE STORYIN 2018, THEFLORIDA RED TIDEmade global headlines, a 16-month ordeal thatHuman health and ecological impacts started around October 2017 and which didntnotwithstanding, the commercial and political subside until February 2019. Though Floridarepercussions may have given the battle against has experienced lengthier red tides, such as ared tides its most potent ammunition.30-month event that started in 1994, the 2018 red tide gained broader public awareness thanksAt the height of the red tide in August, 40 Pinellas to social media and an information-hungry publicCounty businesses claimed $128 million in lost that wanted to understand causes and possiblerevenue. 4 Outgoing Florida Governor Rick solutionsand who expected The Sunshine StateScott made millions of grant dollars available to take action.for cleanup of dead fish, 5and within days of taking office in January 2019 Governor Ron The causes of red tides are contentious, forcingDeSantis Executive Order created an Office of debate about the role of climate change andEnvironmental Accountability and Transparency industries that contribute to red-tide-stimulatingwithin the Department of Environmental nutrient runoff. But almost everyone is inProtection. He has called for a chief scientist agreement that Florida must protect humanto oversee investigation of both causes and health, its cherished marine animals, and itsmitigation strategies for red tides.tourism-based economy.At this confluence of public health, ecological Human health is placed at risk in two main ways.impacts, and policy are numerous monitoring Beachgoers exposed to toxin-laden aerosolsprograms relied upon by the public, can experience respiratory symptoms such aspolicymakers, and scientists alike. Each of these coughing, sneezing, itchy throat, or watery eyes,audiences has different needs, and the three and the Florida Department of Health (FDH)examples that follow demonstrate how those advises that people with chronic respiratorydifferent interests can be served, as well as the diseases avoid beaches during a red tide. 1evolution of monitoring approaches.Contaminated shellfish is another exposure risk, though a well-managed one since the shellfish industry is closely monitored by both the state and the Food and Drug Administration (but recreational clam-diggers beware!).The impacts on wildlife, however, have been severe. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) tracked over 200 manatee deaths 2confirmed or suspected to be caused by the red tide, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified 149 dolphin unusual mortality events that may be attributed to the red tide. 3 There have also been countless fish kills, suspected bird mortalities, and sea turtle strandings and deaths. 1 Florida Health, Red Tide Blooms 4 WTSP, Economic Impacts of Red Tide on Business in 2 FWC, 2018 Preliminary Red Tide Manatee Mortalities Pinellas County Worse Than Expected3 NOAA Fisheries, 2018-2019 Bottlenose Dolphin 5 WUSF, Sarasota Tourism Agency Survey Reveals Unusual Mortality Event Economic Impact of Red TideWhos Minding the Planet? 21'