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Amid red tide outbreak, Florida beckons visitors to beaches

Photo: Elizeu Dias
Photo: Elizeu Dias

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Toxic plumes of oceanic bacteria known as red tide is continuing to move up the western Florida coast, strewing thousands of dead fish on beaches.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday assembled a team of experts who say work is underway to better understand and control the latest outbreak — and to reassure Floridians and potential tourists ahead of the July 4 holiday that things aren't as bad as they would seem.

Most beaches and seaside businesses are open for business, even if state officials are closely monitoring the offshore plume.

Conditions are far less severe than about three years, when massive blooms killed tons of oceanic wildlife and prompted the closure of some beaches.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.