The weather is perfect for a beach day, but the water far from it. “It’s our first time coming to Siesta Key,” said beachgoer Robert Carney. I heard a lot about it, wanted to come check it out, and we found out first hand unfortunately, they get red tide.” A walk on the beaches of North Longboat Key, and it becomes clear where red tide gets its name. The water a deep rusty color and thousands of dead fish line the shore.

At Siesta Beach, it’s a similar scene with birds picking away at what’s left behind. Florida Fish and Wildlife’s latest report identifies those two beaches as having the highest levels of red tide, which is an algae bloom that produces toxic chemicals. For humans, it causes respiratory irritation, but for marine organisms and some birds, it’s often deadly. READ MORE