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Red tide blooms ease; Algae levels high in Lake O

Last updated on July 2nd, 2022 at 07:53 am

The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was observed at background concentrations in one sample from Southwest Florida over the past week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported on Friday, July 1.

  • In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations offshore of Hillsborough County. For additional information, view the Southwest Coast report and map.
  • In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was not observed. For additional information, view the Northwest Coast report and map.
  • Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was not observed. For additional information, view the East Coast report and map.

Fish Kills

No reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received over the the past week. For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

Respiratory Irritation

Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was not reported in Florida over the past week. For recent and current information at individual beaches, please visit https://visitbeaches.org/ and for forecasts that use FWC and partner data, please visit https://habforecast.gcoos.org/.

Forecast

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas County to northern Monroe County predict variable movement of surface waters and net southeastern transport of subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3.5 days.

For detailed information on this week’s samples, view the current Statewide Google Earth map for June 24, 2022

Click here for Daily Red Tide map


Blue-Green Algae: Lake O bloom not yet leaking into rivers

There were 38 reported site visits in the past seven days, with 38 samples collected. Algal bloom conditions were observed by samplers at 24 sites, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reported on Friday, July 1.

The satellite imagery for Lake Okeechobee from 6/23 shows approximately 45% coverage of moderate to high bloom potential, with the highest bloom potential predominantly along the western and southern shore of the lake. The satellite imagery for the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries from 6/23 shows no significant bloom potential in visible portions of either estuary.

The satellite imagery for the St. Johns River from 6/23 shows areas of moderate bloom potential on Lake George and on the main stem of the St. Johns River downstream of Lake George to Welaka and in Doctors Lake.

Bloom potential is subject to change due to rapidly changing environmental conditions or satellite inconsistencies (i.e., wind, rain, temperature or stage).

For detailed blue-green algae report, visit the state Department of Environmental Protection.


Related News Reports

Manatee County’s new skimmer boats to help clean up fish kills, WUSF Public Media, 6/30/22

Blue-green algae bloom alert issued for Clay County creek, News4Jax, 6/23/22

Red tide shows up at low levels in the Indian River Lagoon, causing concern for manatees, Florida Today, 6/19/22

Army Corps discusses feasibility of zero Lake O releases during St. Lucie River boat tour TCPalm News, 6/17/22

NOAA seeks input on Gulf of Mexico aquaculture sites, including 3 off Florida Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 6/6/22

Biden signs South Florida algae bloom bill. TCPalm News. 6/16/22

Gov. DeSantis announces $1.2 billion water protection plan from Fort Myers Beach. 6/8/22. Fox 4

UCF Researchers Are Contributing to World Oceans Day. 6/7/22. UCF


What is red tide — and is it getting worse? — Discover Magazine

Twitter rants help scientists study red tide — Axios


Florida Department of Health

Avoid Red Tide

Toxins from red tide can cause breathing problems and irritate your eyes, nose and throat. Reactions to red tide are worse for people with asthma, emphysema, bronchitis or any chronic lung disease. If you have health issues, stay away from areas with red tide. Pets can become sick from red tide so keep them away from those areas as well as contaminated marine animals and fish.

If you come into contact with red tide, wash off with soap and water. You can get relief from respiratory symptoms by being in an air-conditioned space. For people without asthma or chronic respiratory problems, over-the-counter antihistamines can help. If your symptoms don’t get better, see a doctor.

SWIMMING.  Don’t swim in or around red tide because the toxin can cause skin irritation, rashes and burning and sore eyes.

DEAD FISH. Red tides can kill fish and other marine life—avoid contact and don’t swim or walk in these areas. Keep your pets away from these areas.

RED TIDE AND FISH.  Don’t harvest or eat distressed or dead fish (or any animals) from or near a red tide. Fish caught live and healthy can be eaten if filleted and rinsed thoroughly with fresh water.

RED TIDE AND SHELLFISH. Crabs, lobsters, shrimp, clams, oysters and scallops are filter feeders that can concentrate toxins. These and other shellfish, if harvested from red tide areas, can be contaminated with brevetoxins. The muscle of the scallop is free of toxin but the rest of the scallop is not.

WHAT IS RED TIDE? Common name for harmful algal blooms occurring along coastal regions in Florida from large concentrations of aquatic microorganisms, specifically an organism called karenia brevis. Bloom events are stimulated by nutrients from terrestrial runoff containing fertilizer, sewage and livestock wastes.


Additional Resources


A note from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning your trip.

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Kim Wroblewski

Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

The red tide can bother you at sometimes. But whiat our family does is just go down the beach a couple miles and you really can’t notice it at all. Sometimes it’ll bother you worse than others. But don’t give up hope our Florida weather is beautiful and so are the beaches so just enjoy it the best you can and except the red tide Kim Wroblewski

Susan

Saturday 14th of August 2021

Thank you for publishing information about red tide. This has been going on for several weeks not just this last week. I live near the beach in Sarasota county. I feel so bad for tourists who come down with no idea that this is going on. It is not publicized or reported much. The signs alerting people are very inconspicuous. Many lodging properties and hotels do not tell their guests. We’ve also had closures due to bacteria in the water. It is bad enough that our state government is not proactive in solving this problem for all of us, but at least tell people what’s going on for safety reasons. Florida rambler is awesome. Thank you for all your publications! Susan

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