The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is reporting a red tide event is beginning to spread south along the Texas Coast. Red tide is an alga that for unknown reasons periodically proliferates and multiplies into large blooms. When it reaches very high densities, the algae stains the water a reddish color and kills fish.
Scientifically the alga is known as Karenia Brevis and the unfortunate problem with it is that waterborne toxins produced by it coat the fish’s gills and cut off their ability to extract oxygen. The result can be fish kills that in worst case scenarios can cause hundreds of thousands of dead fish along Texas beaches. A small fish kill was reported north of the park at Packery Channel.
Another side effect of red tide blooms is that when concentrations reach high enough levels, the toxins in the water get aerosolized as the waves break and the wind picks it up. The resultant toxins can cause coughing and sneezing. Anyone with respiratory issues such as asthma or COPD should avoid the beach. Dogs, with their keen sense of smell can be especially sensitive. If aerosol levels are elevated enough to cause even minor breathing issues for you, you should not subject your dog to it.
Picture: Houston Chronicle