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FT MYERS (CBSMiami) – Researchers in southwest Florida think they’ve found a solution to the red tides that have killed millions of sea animals.

Boat captain Chad Bombenger said the toxins are a big problem in his canal in Boca Grande.

“The dead fish and that’s another smell so it gets kind of tough especially when you work on the water and have to deal with it,” he said.

Now Bombenger’s canal is ground zero for a new experiment by Mote Marine Laboratory scientists to clear up the red tide.

Two pumps installed on the canal mixes the water with ozone which removes the toxins.

“This system gets rid of the red tide, gets rid of the toxins, gets rid of the access organic matter that’s decomposing and it deoxygenates the water so it’s really a win-win situation,” said Mote Marine Laboratory senior scientist Dr. Richard Pierce.

The system, which can process 300 gallons of water per minute, is already being used to clean water in small tanks at their marine life hospital on Longboat Key.

Researchers say their biggest challenges are the size of the area they are testing the system in and how it will work in a natural ecosystem.

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