Professional diver taking a deeper look into red tide impact

While we’ve seen and felt the impact of red tide on the beaches, but what is it doing below the surface?

Curt Bowen is a professional diver taking a deeper look at red tide, and he found exactly what he thought he would find: nothing.

“It killed everything from the sea grasses to the clams to the mussels to the crabs to the sponges. Today we found a bunch of dead sponges all over the place,” he said.

Bowen says that normally the reef would be full of fish, clams and crabs, but he’s been documenting several locations from Clearwater to Sanibel and has found it’s bare.

Bowen says red tide has killed off most marine life, which beachgoers saw after it washed up on shores.

“Probably between Englewood to Naples got hit the hardest,” he said.

Bowen said this is the worst he’s seen in 30 years and it’s so bad, he couldn’t find fish again until reaching 10-12 miles offshore.

“Most of the people look at the surface of the water and that’s not really what you should be looking at. It’s just a blue carpet, what’s below the blue carpet is the more important part,” he said.

Bowen plans to dive in Naples and Marco Island next, and he’ll revisit the same areas next year to compare changes.

Reporter:Taylor Bisacky
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