A patchy bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida from southern Pinellas to Lee counties.
Over the past week, Karenia brevis was observed at background to very low concentrations in three samples collected from Pinellas County background to very low concentrations in six samples collected from Manatee County background to medium concentrations in twenty-six samples collected from Sarasota County background to low concentrations in six samples collected from Charlotte County and background to low concentrations in twenty-one samples collected from Lee County.
One sample from the East Coast of Florida (Brevard County) contained background concentrations of K. brevis. Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.
Over the past week, respiratory irritation has been reported along Manatee County (Coquina and Manatee beaches), Sarasota County (Venice North Jetty, Siesta Key, Manasota Beach, Lido Key, and Nokomis), and Lee County (Bowmans Beach). Fish kills were reported along Manatee County (Manatee Beach), Sarasota County (Siesta and Lido keys, Nokomis), and Lee County (Bonita Beach). Forecasts for Southwest Florida by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides predict net southern, and then slightly offshore movement of surface waters, and southern, onshore movement of subsurface waters from Pinellas to northern Monroe counties over the next three days.
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.
To learn more about various organisms that have been known to cause algal blooms in Florida waters, see the FWRI Red Tide Flickr page. Archived status maps can also be found on Flickr.
The FWRI HAB group in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory now have a facebook page. Please like our page and learn interesting facts concerning red tide and other harmful algal blooms in Florida. [log in for link]