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Hundreds of dead fish washed up in a Bradenton neighborhood. Now residents want answers.

Tidewater Preserve residents are seeking answers after hundreds of dead fish washed ashore in their neighborhood over the weekend, saying this isn’t the first time it’s happened.
Tidewater Preserve residents are seeking answers after hundreds of dead fish washed ashore in their neighborhood over the weekend, saying this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Marsha McMullin via Susan Stoddard

Hundreds of dead fish washed ashore in a Bradenton neighborhood during the last week — and residents say it isn’t the first time.

Tidewater Preserve residents say they started to notice the floating fish last week and by the weekend, they really began to pile up.

“We need kelp in solving the fish kill problem in the community,” resident Marsha McMullin said. “I have lived here six years and this is the third large fish kill. (It) happens every two years.”

Besides the overwhelming smell, residents also said the fish are creating a buzzard problem.

A biologist tested the water and told residents inadequate oxygen levels are likely what caused the fish kill.

“When we built here we were told there would be fountains installed through the waterway,” McMullin said. “ They had one fountain already installed but have since removed it. I believe it is an oxygen problem. The water is stagnant - no circulation at all.”

Crews worked over the weekend to clear out the fish and residents say most have been cleaned up, with a few remaining.

McMullin said that she and others in the neighborhood had a meeting and plan to picket Lennar, the company that manages Tidewater Preserve, to try and get things resolved.

“So far they have totally ignored our concerns,” she said.

Follow Samantha Putterman on Twitter @samputterman
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