PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- Red tide has been present in southwest Florida for more than 10 months and is starting to make its way to the Bay area.
- Red tide killing fish, dolphins as it creeps up FL coast
- Red tide now present in southern Pinellas County
- Dead fishing washing up on shore in Manatee
- Experts search for solutions to stop red tide
Residents in southwest Florida are dealing with algae blooms in their canals and red tide on their beaches.
Earlier this week, Florida Fish and Wildlife reported low levels of red tide present in southern Pinellas County. Manatee County has already felt the effects with dead fish washing up on shore all week.
And it's not just fish dying, nine dolphins have died so far red tide. A few have been pulled from the Gulf at Casey Key and Siesta Key. Mote Marine Laboratory will conduct necropsies on each one to figure out an official cause of death.
Scientists in southwest Florida researching red tide say while the algae that causes it does occur naturally in salt water, they believe the water released from sugar cane farming into our waterways is making it much worse.
"I think, I think we also have to realize that you know collectively we got to this point. It took 70 years, 80 years to get to where we are now, and it's going to take a while to work our way out of it," Dr. Mike Parsons, a Florida Gulf Coast University red tide expert, said.
Experts also said the algae bloom in a canal off of the St. Lucie River is caused by the federal water releases from Lake Okeechobee.
Governor Rick Scott plans to tour the river Friday and announce additional funding for the areas impacted by the algae blooms.