The toxic algae bloom that has carved a trail of dead animals and triggered a putrid stench along western Florida’s coastline has drifted further north, killing hundreds of thousands of fish in the Tampa Bay region. The legions of dead fish were reported in a 20-mile stretch of coastline from Clearwater to St. Petersburg, environmental officials with Pinellas County told the Tampa Bay Times on Saturday. County

workers roamed beaches and trawled offshore to collect the fish carcasses to head off decomposition as some beachgoers turned back. Rotting fish and the strong odor of the algae has previously repelled locals and imperiled Florida’s vital tourism sector for much of the summer. The toxic algae has claimed countless fish, hundreds of sea turtles, dozens of bottlenose dolphins and even a 26-foot whale shark in the last few months. The toxic algae stretches in varied density for about 120 miles of coastline, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said. READ MORE