Red Tide was detected in early April around Marco Island. South Marco Beach, big Marco Pass and Caxambas Pass were found to have very low levels of red tide. As the month progressed the red tide intensified and NOAA satellites tracked an area of elevated chlorophyll levels from Clam Pass in northern Collier County to 22 miles south of Cape Romano and extending nine miles offshore. The county report warned people with respiratory illnesses like asthma or emphysema to avoid Marco Island beaches so they would not aggravate their illnesses.
The current status report based on samples taken by FWRI on April 20, 2012 shows:
Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, was not detected in water samples analyzed this week alongshore of Hillsborough, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties. One sample collected alongshore of Pinellas County contained background concentrations of K. brevis. Additionally, one sample collected alongshore of Manatee County contained very low concentrations of K. brevis and two samples collected alongshore of the Marco Island area (Collier County) contained concentrations ranging from background to very low.