Toxic Algae

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For people in Eastpoint asking “what's next,” now they have their answer. A fierce red tide has closed down the bay in this fishing village struggling to set things straight after Hurricane Dennis.

Barely bouncing back from a savage summer, oystermen are once again battling mother nature. This time a fierce red tide has closed down the Apalachicola Bay.

Bevin Putnal, Franklin County Commissioner, says, "Now bay shut down again, don't know for how long, and could be devastating not being able to work and make money."

Docks crowded with empty boats are a constant reminder of a drowning economy.

Lynn Martina is struggling to keep her head above water. Saturday she finished rebuilding her oyster house after Hurricane Dennis tore it apart, only to be told to stay off the water because of the toxic tide.

"How much more can we take?" asks Lynn.

That's the question on the minds of many along the coast. Putnal is one of them. He fears the recent setback could be too much to handle.

Putnal says, "Don't know what to do except wait and hope red tide will go away."

Right now, harvesting is taking place in Wakulla County and one spot in Louisiana is open for oystermen. While it appears things have gone from bad to worse, hope floats in this fishing village that the tide will turn in their favor.

Lynn Martina says water samples are still being taken by officials and meat samples haven't been done yet because the water levels are still too high.