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Red Tide vs. Blue-Green Algae: There is a Difference

Two different problems. The problem has gotten big enough here in Florida for Governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency in seven counties.

Red tide and blue-green algae. Some national reports have lumped the two together — but we’re here to explain how they are two separate problems that are happening at the same time.

Algae is basically a plant-like creature that can live in the ocean or fresh water. So what’s the difference?

For starters, blue-green algae is very noticeable.

It looks like thick green slime and smells like sour waste and garbage. It is toxic.

With red tide, the water might be a little discolored with a hint of red or brown but it’s not always visible.

In fact, the water might look normal. Red tide is natural. It comes from the ocean and can cause breathing problems, teary eyes, scratchy throats and make it unbearable to be at the beach.

So what’s killing all the wildlife?

Traces of red tide have been found in some of these animals, but honestly which type of algae killed them is a mystery.

All we do know is that marine life is dying, and there are two different types of algae.

RELATED: Red Tide Impacting SWFL Businesses, Wildlife

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