September 3, 2018

Farewell Summer

End of Summer
With today marking the traditional end of summer, it's time to look back and wonder where the time went!  I snapped this pic back in July on Lido Beach and still love it...the glow of the sunset, the couple standing next to the water, and four teenage boys hanging out together on a hot Friday night enjoying the simplicity of sunset.   

Unfortunately, Summer 2018 will be remembered as the Summer of Red Tide.  A couple of weeks after I took this photo, the beach was overwhelmed with naturally occurring red tide killing thousands of tons of marine life (manatees, dolphins, turtles, sharks and fish).  The images have been heartbreaking.  Stretching 150 miles along the west coast of Florida, the red tide bloom has been an environmental disaster, prompting the State of Florida and local governments to declare a State of Emergency.  

As it happens, the global leaders in red tide research, Mote Marine Laboratory, are based here in Sarasota.  While they say red tide blooms have been documented for centuries and are naturally occurring, this tiny toxic organism seems to be exacerbated when it comes in contact with nutrients near shore (read:  fertilizer residue etc.).  Researchers are working around the clock to find solutions and have one promising experiment underway in Southwest Florida.  

The good news is that with recent favorable winds, the red tide appears to be diminishing:  less pungent smell and fewer fish kills.  The water is still dark brown near shore, though, according to reports.  One of the effects of red tide is a strong odor that can impact one's respiratory system.  So, I haven't been to the beach since I took this photo.  We're cautiously optimistic the tide is turning (so to speak) and the red tide bloom goes out to sea and dissipates soon. 

Hope everyone in the blogosphere had a great summer!