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Updated: 10/10/2012 08:00:26AM

Cross your fingers against a red tide invasion

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Many of us can remember the awful, frustrating red tide outbreak of 2005-06. On any given day, for an exceptionally long period, the Gulf beaches were filled with a choking mist. Dead fish littered the shores and created an unsightly, smelly mess.

You never really knew how bad the bloom might be, one day to the next and one beach to the next, so the uncertainty was maddening. People would drive all the way out to the beach, take a whiff and choke back tears; then they’d pile back into the car and retreat. Fishermen took a pass. Tourists canceled motel bookings. People who considered themselves lucky enough to live near the Gulf found there was a downside to their prime property location other than hurricanes. Hospital emergency rooms saw an increase of patients with respiratory ailments.

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