Great for Your Eyes, Bad for Your Nose, Okay for Swimming

Marine biologists say the red tide is okay to enter

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It’s beautiful at night, but it’s not so beautiful during the day.

It stinks all the time.

The red tide along San Diego County’s coastline has captivated our eyes and offended our noses.

“It smells terrible,” exclaimed surfer Shad Fernandez who confessed skipping a few days in the waves because of the odor.

Fernandez tried putting the smell into words.

“If I leave my Brussel sprouts in my lunchbox and leave it in the car for a couple of days and it’s really warm,” he said.

Marine biologists with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said the red tide is a conglomeration of microorganisms reproducing right off our coast. The smell comes from those organisms dying

“The result is that it’s been pretty stinky,” said marine biologist Mike Latz, Ph.D. “That’s very descriptive. That makes the point.”

Latz said the red tide is safe for swimming and surfing for most people. He said there are some red tides around the world that are not safe for humans. San Diego County isn’t one of them.

“But there are some individuals who have respiratory issues,” Latz added. “They are sensitive to some of the aerosols produced by the red tide.”

He said the red tide could also give some people a rash, but for the most part, the red tide isn’t as deadly as it sounds.

Or smells.

Latz said the red tide could end within the next week or two. He said it’s very hard to predict when it will appear and how long it will last.

“It’s been very smelly for a while, but today, at least at La Jolla Shores, the air smells much better,” he said.

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