Red tide is back on the Suncoast, just in time for the season flare-up
Francesco Abbruzzino, The Uncensored Report, LLC
A patchy bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists along Florida’s Gulf coast, where cells were detected in 99 samples over the past week. Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were observed in 42 samples: seven from Okaloosa County, three from Walton County, two from and offshore of Pasco County, 14 from and offshore of Pinellas County, five from Manatee County, nine from and offshore of Sarasota County and two from offshore of Charlotte County. Additional details are provided below.
- In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at low to high concentrations in and offshore of Pinellas County (in 21 samples), background to medium concentrations in Manatee County (in nine samples), background to high concentrations in and offshore of Sarasota County (in 22 samples), and background to high concentrations in and offshore of Charlotte County (in five samples). Samples collected from or offshore of Lee, Collier, and Monroe counties did not contain K. brevis.
- In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to medium concentrations in and offshore of Okaloosa County (in 22 samples), very low to medium concentrations in Walton County (in four samples), very low and low concentrations in Bay County (in two samples), very low concentrations in Gulf County (in one sample), background concentrations offshore of Dixie County (in two samples), background to low concentrations offshore of Levy County (in four samples) and very low to medium concentrations in and offshore of Pasco County (in seven samples). Samples collected from Franklin County did not contain K. brevis.
- Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was not observed.
Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported on the Florida Gulf Coast in or offshore of Okaloosa, Walton, Dixie, Levy, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee counties over the past week. For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.
Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported over the past week on the Florida Gulf Coast in Okaloosa, Walton, Manatee and Sarasota counties. 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/.
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Escambia to Gulf counties predict variable transport of surface and subsurface coastal waters over the next 3.5 days. Forecasts for Wakulla to northern Monroe counties predict net western/southwestern movement of surface waters and southeastern transport of subsurface waters in most areas.
FWC-FWRI is working closely with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and other partners on the Piney Point response effort. Status updates and results are posted on the Protecting Florida Together website (https://protectingfloridatogether.gov/PineyPointUpdate) and on the Tampa Bay Estuary Program website (https://shiny.tbep.org/piney-point/).
The next complete status report will be issued on Friday, October 1st. Please check our daily sampling map, which can be accessed via the online status report on our Red Tide Current Status page. For more information on algal blooms and water quality, please visit Protecting Florida Together.
This information, including maps and reports with additional details, is also available on the FWRI Red Tide website. The website also provides links to additional information related to the topic of Florida red tide including satellite imagery, experimental red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, the FWC Fish Kill Hotline, the Florida Poison Information Center (to report human health effects related to exposure to red tide), and other wildlife related hotlines.