Toxic Red Tide Crashes the San Francisco Bay’s Party Again! 🌊💀🐟
TL;DR: A year after killing thousands of fish, the infamous toxic red tide is back in the San Francisco Bay Area. Scientists, studying the phenomenon, warn of potential causes and emphasize ongoing research. 😲🔬
By the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland, Mother Nature seems to be throwing a wicked repeat party nobody asked for. Dead fish, clear as day, line up as silent attendees, a grim reminder of last year’s devastating toxic red tide. So, why’s she doing it again? 🤔
Hundreds of these aquatic beings met their untimely end, signaling the return of the lethal red tide, a consequence of an algae bloom that had already wreaked havoc last year. Last Friday, water with a suspicious tint was spotted by our eagle-eyed citizen scientists near the Berkeley Marina. Fast forward to a series of sample collections and expert analysis by the San Francisco Estuary Institute, and the verdict is clear: the microorganism Heterosigma akashiwo, the infamous party crasher from last year, is back in action. 😤
David Senn, shedding light on the matter, mentioned, “It’s not necessarily the current conditions that are the concern. It’s more the reemergence of the organism that caused so much havoc last year.” But if you’re thinking it’s just a Berkeley Marina thing, hold on to your hats! Reports from Richardson Bay and Muir Beach suggest similar discolorations. 🕵️♂️
When this algae decides to have a ball, the aftermath isn’t pretty. As it blooms, bacteria feast on it, depleting oxygen from the water. This makes the environment unbreathable for our fishy friends, leading to a massive suffocation party. And while this algae isn’t a direct villain for humans, it could give you some nasty eye and skin irritations. The experts’ tip? Stay away from rust-colored water! 😳🚫
Now, the intriguing question: what’s making the algae act up? One theory suggests that wastewater dumped into water bodies boosts the presence of nitrogen and phosphorous, which is like an invitation for the algae to party hard. Given that the San Francisco Bay houses 37 wastewater treatment plants, we’re looking at a lot of potential party invitations. According to Senn, the treatment may not be cutting it when it comes to nitrogen removal.
Eileen White, executive officer of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, dished out some deets. She pointed out that around 66% of the nutrients in the bay are courtesy of wastewater plants. 🏭💧
Last year, the red tide took its party to Alameda’s Oakland estuary, then made its way throughout the system. Ever wondered how it travels? Think dandelions. The seeds get carried off by the wind, lying in wait for the right moment. Senn beautifully analogized, “It’s like a dandelion, whose seeds get blown away with the potential for them to grow later in those new locations.”
So, will San Francisco experience a déjà vu of last year’s catastrophic red tide? 🤷🌀
Disclaimer: This news report is for informational purposes only. While algae isn’t directly harmful to humans, individuals should exercise caution and consult with experts if they suspect exposure. Turnt Up News does not offer any form of advice or recommendation.
With these algae blooms threatening to turn our beautiful bays into toxic wastelands, isn’t it time we all pondered how our actions contribute to Mother Nature’s party plans? Could better wastewater treatment be the game-changer? And will we only take action when it’s too late? 💭🌍🌿