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      It's "blooming" season for red tide

      Water of South Padre Island

      Researchers at The Pan American Coastal Studies Lab on South Padre Island said this is the season when weather conditions are just right for a red tide bloom.

      That's why they're enlisting the help of volunteers to help monitor the waters.

      The hands-on training exercises includes collecting water samples, studying past red tide algae blooms and examining them under a microscope.

      The training held at The University of Texas - Pan American Coastal Studies Lab at Isla Blanca Park aimed to prepare a group of first responders if a red tide bloom reached the island TMs shores this year.

      Willy Cupit with Texas Parks and Wildlife said there's still many things that are unknown about the algae that causes red tide but what is known is that the toxins it releases can kill fish.

      And can be harmful to mammals and pets that are exposed to it.

      For humans, it can irritate the throat and eyes causing severe symptoms in those with respiratory problems.

      "It affects tourism and the people that live in the area, so for us to be able to have a good handle on what the blooms do, it helps us to relay that information to the public so plans can be made accordingly," Cupit said.

      Researchers said although there hasn't been a significant red tide bloom in about three years, they still have to be prepared