Help monitor red tide with FWC volunteer water testing program

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FILE: Dead fish at Englewood Beach. (Credit: WINK News/FILE)
FILE: Dead fish at Englewood Beach. (Credit: WINK News/FILE)

Sea life is suffering and dead dolphins and manatees washed ashore in Englewood last week.

Right now the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it’s getting bombarded with calls regarding the effects of red tide, and there’s a way you can help.

You can keep track of red tide by collecting samples with a kit they will send you for free.

The FWC makes it as easy as walking down to your closest beach equipped with sample bottles, directions and shipping packages.

MORE: Complete Red Tide Coverage

In just a week, you can get your results, all while being a part of red tide research.

Rick Warren, “Man Overboard Charters” Captain calls 2018 the summer that Florida forgot saying, “My kids haven’t been to the beach all year or all summer”

While red tide destroyed Warren’s plans with his family, Iit also killed off some of his business, “24 charters in the month of june, real good month for us. July it definitely slowed down. We ran somewhere between 12 to 14 trips. August so far this august we ran about six or seven” he said.

As an offshore charter captain for nearly 15 years, Warren witnesses the red tide impacts daily, “Yesterday when we were out we saw dead floating fish actually up to about 11 miles offshore. That’s the farthest we’ve seen actually ever since I’ve been doing this”

That’s why he got involved with the FWC red tide monitoring program.

MORE: Gov. Scott issues state of emergency order for impacts of red tide in SWFL

While he’s already offshore, he collects water samples in a separate plastic container. Inside the kit, there’s also data sheets to keep track of sample details.

On a page you can put your location, longitude, latitude, depth, like what made you want to sample that area.

Warren got his results a week later with medium to high red tide results.

“We like to see dolphins and sea turtles … And it’s really hard to share that with other people when you see all the death around you,” Warren added.

You can sign up for the FWC Volunteer Monitoring Program through the FWC website.

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