Worst Red Tide Bloom In Southwest Florida Since 2007

In early October, State and local officials identified a large patch of red tide that appeared to stretch from inshore southern Sarasota County to offshore Collier County, centered off Charlotte Harbor and stretching southeast toward Collier. It has now extended from Collier through Sarasota County with patches in Manatee and Pinellas County.

The bloom is deadly for fish, marine mammals, sea turtles and other sea life. Dead fish have been washing up on beaches in Charlotte and Sarasota County beaches. There have been reports of respiratory irritation on the coast which can be caused by red tide. People with chronic conditions such as asthma and emphysema are particularly susceptible.

Scientists are still trying to pinpoint just how blooms are triggered but theorize that it is a combination of changing wind patterns pushing red tide closer to shore, nutrient laden runoff fueling the inshore blooms and the red tide algae’s natural growth cycle.

3 comments… add one
  • dd Nov 6, 2012, 7:29 pm

    We just arrived at Captiva Tween Waters Inn, walked our dog on beach at 2pm and both started coughing and sneezing and nostrils burning. Our dog started sneezing and pawing at his nose. No one here at hotel will acknowledge any red tide or problem at all. Last fish/game water report was Nov. 2nd..wish they’d come look here..

  • Julie Sabo Feb 19, 2013, 10:52 pm

    We are coming to sanibel island in late March, my daugther had asthma as a child
    Will this be an issue? Can we swim and enjoy the beach?

    • colleen Feb 21, 2013, 11:00 am

      The current beach report for Sanibel shows the water color clear, no respiratory irritation, or red drift algae. Since your trip is several weeks away I would recommend you go to the Beach Conditions Report http://www.mote.org/beaches closer to late March. START has educational info on red tide that I will send you.

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