Although red tides are a common and natural occurrence around the coast of Florida, within the last few decades they have intensified and become much more deadly. Several identifiable human-caused factors exacerbate the size, concentration, and duration of the harmful algae bloom and disturb the environment’s natural balance. The Florida Gulf Coast provides all the algae’s necessary requirements for survival, the perfect storm to create a resilient super bloom that annihilates its host ecosystem.

This article explains the plight of Florida manatees who, like other marine animals and plants, are being injured or killed by this algae crisis. It also provides background information about Florida red tides, including how they are formed and the human activities that are to blame for this disruption in the ecosystem’s natural balance. It suggests current laws protecting both manatees and water quality are inadequate or ineffective as they do not directly address nonpoint nutrient pollution, the root cause of these massive super blooms. Using a multifactorial approach, it proposes several simple solutions to mitigate the harmful effects of red tide super blooms and save the manatees along with other marine life.