Florida Realtors issued the following announcement on Oct. 1.
Liz Barber has enjoyed the beautiful beaches and islands near her Sarasota home for 45 years. She’s an attorney at a real estate law firm in downtown Sarasota and often heads out to get lunch if she has time during the work day.
About a year ago she stepped out to grab a bite near her office and smelled a stench so bad it caught her by surprise.
It was red tide. Karenia brevis cells, the algae that causes the stinky – and dangerous – condition, ravaged the west coast and decimated wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.
Barber, 60, took a trip to her beloved Siesta Key and Lido Key only to find the stench so bad, she wondered how anyone with respiratory issues could stand it.
The terrible smell had financial consequences, too. The beaches were barren of life, and the tourism and hospitality industries took hits so hard the state government even took notice.
Barber said her real estate firm has seen “a dip in business directly related to the godawful red tide smell.”
“It worries me that it’s going to come back again. I don’t know if Sarasota business and real estate and islands can take it again,” she said. “It’s a trickle-down effect … if this becomes a bigger part of our reality, what are we going to do to keep our communities surviving financially?
Following an environment-related survey of the Florida Influencers, a group of 50 prominent political and policy figures from across the state, the Miami Herald asked readers what they want to know about our environmentally sensitive peninsula.
Original source can be found here.
Source: Florida Realtors