Green tide in Mexico

From: CORE (
Date: Tue May 09 2000 - 11:53:29 EDT

Dear Debbie,

We are not familiar with the phenomenon of "Green Tide" in Mexico. There is
a phenomenon on the East Coast of the United States (and other areas of the
world) called the Red Tide. Microorganisms called Diatoms sometimes become
toxic due to pollutants in the water (from run-off and other sources). The
diatoms get into food chain - such as when filter feeding animals like
clams eat them - and can create a public health threat if humans eat the
clams. The diatoms carry a toxin that causes paralysis in certain animals
(like whales and humans) if consumed in any quantity.

We have never heard of this phenomenon in Mexico, but will try to find out

Thank you for your question!


Lisa Foerster
Center for Oceanic Research and Education

>I just returned from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where there appeared to me to
>be a major sewage spill. There was a thick brown foam from the beach to
>several yards out all along the coast. Locals told us that it was a
>phenomenon" or a "green tide" which meant that "marine plant life was being
>regenerated" and that it meant the water was healthy and being purified.
>Are you aware of this and can you explain it?
>Thanking you in advance,
>Debbie in Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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