Red tides are causing massive fish die-offs in Florida.
Tourists and local residents up and down the Florida coast are dealing with a fish die-off that's littered the beaches with thousands of dead fish.
Contrary to popular belief, it's not the end of the world; it's simply a natural effect of red tide algae blooms. The blooms can also cause health problems for people with respiratory issues.
People with COPD, asthma or other respiratory problems should probably avoid the beaches for the time being. This latest red tide started back on September 19, when the first reports came into Florida wildlife officials.
Thankfully, red tide won't mean a closure of beaches and boat traffic, as with the parasite that closed huge sections of the Yellowstone River and negatively affected local businesses in Montana last month. However, officials are urging caution, because the red tide blooms can irritate the skin (not to mention, visitors will have to deal with the stench of dead fish).
The blooms can also be harmful to pets, particularly if the toxins get onto the animal's skin and it licks itself afterwards.
For now, there's not much the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission can do beyond monitoring the situation and waiting for it to end. If you were planning a trip to Florida anytime soon, you might want to consider re-scheduling for after the red tide is over.