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Tampa's Great Bay Scallop search canceled by red tide

The event happens every year in the Bay area.

TAMPA, Fla. — The presence of red tide in the Tampa Bay region has put a massive strain on the waters and the marine life that call it home. 

The Great Bay Scallop search happens every year in order to help experts monitor and document the status of the bay scallop population.

The popular event recruits volunteers to snorkel along set transect lines to search for scallops according to Tampa Bay Watch. More than 200 people typically come out to lend a helping hand.  

But, the search will not happen in 2021 due to extremely high levels of red tide.

Organizers at Tampa Bay Watch told 10 Tampa Bay "The scallop search has been cancelled for this year and will not be rescheduled."

They hope the event will return in August 2022.

In a statement, the organization talked about the intensely high toxins from red tide and how such blooms are rarely seen this early in the summer. 

Leaders from Tampa Bay Watch say the cause of the toxin spread has not been pinpointed, but they feel many factors, including wastewater spills, a lack of rain, and the presence of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water, are all encouraging the bloom.

As unfortunate as it is, this year will not be the first time that the Great Bay Scallop will not happen. Red tide canceled it in 2018, too.

Click here to read what Tampa Bay Watch says you can do to personally help decrease red tide. 

RELATED: Searching for scallops: How they're used as a water quality indicator

RELATED: FWC: Red tide conditions continue to improve in Tampa Bay

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