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Old 09-15-2006, 06:26 AM
 
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what causes the Gulf water around Ft Myers and Sanibel to be so dark? it is not a pretty blue.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:23 AM
 
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Untreated storm water runoff from a rapidly increasing population and massive coastal development.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soapboxsallysmom View Post
Untreated storm water runoff from a rapidly increasing population and massive coastal development.
do you mean that the Gulf is now going to look just like the dark and muddy Mississippi River?
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, FL
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"soap"'s answer is probably correct, at least in part.

Here is a simple explanation from the Library of Congress:
Quote:
Wavelengths of light pass through matter differently depending on the materialís composition. Blue wavelengths are transmitted to greater depths of the ocean, while red wavelengths are absorbed quickly. Water molecules scatter blue wavelengths by absorbing the light waves, and then rapidly reemitting the light waves in different directions. That is why there are mostly blue wavelengths that are reflected back to our eyes.
Sometimes oceans look green. This may be because there is an abundance of plant life or sediment from rivers that flow into the ocean. The blue light is absorbed more and the yellow pigments from plants mix with the blue light waves to produce the color green.
Sometimes parts of the oceans will look milky brown after a storm passes. This is because winds and currents associated with the storm churn up sand and sediment from the rivers that lead into the oceans.
So, the dark color does come from particles in the water. Whether those particles are from nutrients and runoff, I don't know, but it's surely possible.

There may also be natural tannins in the water from things like mangorve roots, but they do not tend to spread to great distances.

The dark water in the Gulf at the mouth of the Mississippi is caused by something called hypoxia, commonly referred to as a "dead zone". That has not reached the Florida coast as far as I know.
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:13 AM
 
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thanks pslOldTimer for that interesting info. Just hope it turns blue again by late November.
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:14 AM
 
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Default Dark waters

Dear Southside,

Here in Tampa we were able to turn around years of toxic runoff with careful monitoring, stiff fines, and sewage treatment for all sanitary sewer effluent ( a long story for another time). The bay was horrible and unsafe for swimming let alone all the toxic things we were injesting from eating the fish and not knowing any better. We are working towards treating stormwater at some point, but as you can imagine it will be costly and take years to accomplish. Red tide is just one of the problems that is occuring in the gulf (and many coastal communities on the gulf). The jury is still out as to the exact cause of these phenomena, however, it couldn't hurt to reduce the toxins and runoff from every community. I'm no tree hugger, but would suggest to anyone to think about what it would be like to bathe in a tub filled with neighbors and pets, and then drink the water. If we end up with no permeable soil left with which to percolate our ground water (we are paving anything that doesn't move and our rainwater is all going to the gulf), then finding any drinking water will be a serious challenge in the near future.
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:54 AM
 
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I can't think as far north as Tampa because that is too much Gulf water to take in. I just want the water around Sanibel-Captiva to turn pretty blue again and hopefully no later than November for wonderful photos.
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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Do not despair.....adobe photoshop may help
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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Depends on where you're at as to why the water is the color it is. Here in the Ft Walton Beach/Destin area, it's green due to the algae in the water. Also where it gets the name "Emerald Coast."
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:51 PM
 
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I used to live just down the road from Destin in P-cola and the temperature seemed to have an affect on the color of the water. On nice days it is SPARKLY green and on cold days it's sorta gray.
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