FLORIDA TODAY: 'Biblical' blood bloom bleeds the waters 'tomato soup' red in Cocoa Beach

Florida Today: Written by Jim Waymer & J.D. Gallop. April 26, 2018.

COCOA BEACH — The creature turning a few Indian River Lagoon canals here tomato-soup red, which officials had suspected was an animal, turns out to be a plant....

Today, officials with the St. Johns River Water Management District said tests at University of Florida identified the algae as Fibrocapsa japonica.

The same species bloomed in August 2011 in the mangroves east of Tarpon Bay on Florida's Gulf Coast.

The current bloom in Cocoa Beach canals is not “the” toxic red tide species of algae, Karenia brevis.

But the same algae has caused major fish kills around the world, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. And outside of Florida, it has been known to produce brevetoxins, the same toxins that red tide emits, which can kill marine life and cause itchy throats and respiratory symptoms in humans.

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