A bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida and currently extends from Pinellas to Collier counties along ~145 miles of coastline. Observations of >1,000,000 K. brevis cells per liter (“high” concentrations) continue to occur at coastal and inshore sites from Manatee to northern Collier counties, and minimal change in cell concentrations was observed for most areas relative to last week. Coastal currents important for transporting cells of K. brevis continue to alternate between predominantly northern or southern flow. Aerial surveys from Pinellas to northern Charlotte counties indicated the presence of offshore blooms of the marine cyanobacterium, Trichodesmium. More specific details are provided below.
In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to medium concentrations in Pinellas County, very low to high concentrations in Manatee County, background to high concentrations in Sarasota County, low to high concentrations in or offshore of Charlotte County, very low to high concentrations in or offshore of Lee County, and background to high concentrations in Collier County.
In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in one sample collected from Escambia County.
Additional samples collected along the east coast of Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.
Over the past week, reports were received for multiple locations in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties.
Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Lee, and Collier counties.
For more information go to: http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/
Report courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission