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Red Tide anticipating huge year, thanks to government stimulus

Red Tide

Red Tide, the harmful algal blooms that occur along coastal regions from time to time, is expecting to have a very successful 2021, something that probably wouldn’t have been possible without assistance from the government.

“I’ll be honest, we were looking at a pretty bleak 2021”, said one of the protozoans and unicellular algae (e.g. dinoflagellates and diatoms) that make up the blooms that discolor the sea surface. “But then came this whole Piney Point situation. This could actually be bigger for us than 2018!! Whew! What a relief!”

“Make no mistake; this never happens if government officials at several levels didn’t cater to big businesses like the phosphate industry at the expense of the environment. And we’re here for that stimmy! Literally! We didn’t ask for it but we’ll take it.”

There was originally over 800 million gallons of toxic wastewater stored in retention ponds on site at the former phosphate mine in Manatee County when a leak was discovered about two weeks ago. As of last Wednesday afternoon, about 173 million gallons of that wastewater had been discharged into Tampa Bay. The wastewater has about 10 times the nitrogen of raw sewage. Excess nitrogen and phosphorous are known to fuel algae blooms, such as red tides.

“Listen, we’re just like anybody else struggling to make it out here”, said the spokes-microorganism. “Producing brevetoxins and ichthyotoxins that kill fish and severely diminish normal respiratory function in humans. You know, just trying to make a living. I mean, it sucks for you and the fish, but I can’t lie; this is a fantastic windfall for us!”

At Tuesday’s Manatee County Board of County Commissioners meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to move forward with plans for building a deep injection well on county-owned property that would be used to treat and remove water going forward, as opposed to more dumping into Tampa Bay. This plan, which was somehow not a viable option before for reasons that will never be explained to anyone’s satisfaction, has been made possible because of funds made available through Governor Ron DeSantis’ declaration of a state of emergency in the area. It’s estimated that the full clean-up and restoration of the site will cost approximately $200 million.

“Wow! That much? Ouch! That’s really gonna hurt, considering how much money the state stands to lose with the negative impact we’re ultimately going to have on tourism by making the beaches uninhabitable, which is really our primary function and reason to exist,” said the spokes-microorganism. “Awesome!!”

Clark Brooks

About Clark Brooks

Senior Supreme Executive Premium Content Editor for Tampa News Force. Comedian, writer and ordained minister. Twitter: @ClarkBrooks | Instagram:@ClarkBrooks54