Red tide concerns on Englewood Beach

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro

There are dead fish and debris along the water near the Chadwick Cover Marina on Englewood Beach.

Red tide is something they have also had to deal with before.

It’s a sight no one wants to see or smell.

“It’s never pleasant, never nice, and it never smells good,” said Ray Orozco, owner of Chadwick Cove Marina and Resort.

There is one sign there could be red tide on the way.

“Well, you could see a few days ago, the water coloration begin to change. And you begin to have the smell. I’ve been in Florida a long time and I’m used to red tide,” Orozco said.

He has owned the place for 25 years. Outside his business, it looks better than it did yesterday. They cleaned up some of the fish this morning.

Southwest Florida waters are not completely littered with dead fish, but it is just the beginning. And something Orozco said was back in 2018, when the red tide started, there were smaller fish that were dying first, but now he’s seeing larger fish.

“Some of them were a couple of feet long,” he said.

Larry Salyers works at the marina. He also remembers 2018.

“You could not see the water because the fish were so bad. It killed manatees, dolphins, great whites, a little bit of everything. It took almost a year for just even the crabs on the trees to come back,” said Salyers, with Marina Upholstery.

There are signs of red tide on Englewood Beach. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Salyers said he hopes it doesn’t get that bad again.

His biggest concern is people’s health and what they’ll do if the fish get worse.

“The red tide cause a lot of problem for people with breathing disorders, people with lung disorders,” Salyers said. “They tell us we can put them into garbage cans. So they expect us to bury him and of course on an island and, you know, resort areas, you can’t do that. There’s just no dirt there for you to bury.”

As far as business goes, Orozco said he is still dealing with the Ian aftermath.

“Oh, it’s one of those things you learn to deal with,” Orozco said of red tide.

But he’s optimistic.

“It’s a small price to pay for all the wonderful things we have in Florida,” Orozco said.

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