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Red Tide

Red tide is an algal bloom where the cell densities are high enough to change water color, often to red.

Algae is an important primary producer, therefore, an important part of the food chain. When there are so much nutrients (pollutants) in the water, algae over-grow to develop red tide.

Reasons for red tide in Long Beach:
– L.A. river ends here
– Urban runoff
– Agricultural runoff
– Sewage spills

Other factors for the development of red tide include salinity, water temperature, zooplankton population, and light availability.

Adverse Effects (non-toxic algae):

– For marine life: Decrease in light availability for other aquatic plants and organisms that need sunlight to live.Decrease in dissolved oxygen which kills fish and other marine animals.

– For humans: Burning sensation of the eyes and nose, and dry, choking cough.

For more details, go to “Surfrider Foundation A-Z”.

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