Wednesday August 2, 2023

Los Angeles Times

A toxic red tide has returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, nearly one year after an unprecedented algae bloom killed thousands of fish and marine life in the region.

Citizen scientists near the Berkeley Marina reported seeing discolored water Friday; various groups then went out to collect samples and had them analyzed, according to David Senn, a scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute.

Testing confirmed that the organism producing the distinct brownish, red color in the water was the microorganism called Heterosigma akashiwo, which was also responsible for killing thousands of marine life last year, resulting in animal carcasses washing ashore during a heat wave.

“We’re quite early in the cycle of this event,” Senn said. “It’s not necessarily the current conditions that are the concern. It’s more the reemergence of the organism that caused so much havoc last year.”

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