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Red tide alert issued near Marco Beach

Blue-Green Algae
Posted at 1:17 PM, Nov 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 21:07:30-05

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Collier County has issued a Health Alert for the presence of a red tide bloom near South Marco Beach. This is in response to water samples taken on November 14, 2022. The public should exercise caution in and around this area.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Look for informational signage posted at most beaches.
  • Stay away from the water, and do not swim in waters with dead fish.
  • Those with chronic respiratory problems should be especially cautious and stay away from this location as the red tide can affect your breathing.
  • Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish, or distressed or dead fish from this location. If caught live and healthy, finfish are safe to eat as long as they are filleted and the guts are discarded. Rinse fillets with tap or bottled water.
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and fresh water if you have had recent contact with red tide.
  • Keep pets and livestock away and out of the water, sea foam, and dead sea life. If your pet swims in waters with red tide, wash it as soon as possible.
  • Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner, making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to the manufacturer's specifications.
  • If outdoors near an affected location, residents may choose to wear masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was detected along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Over the past week, they say K. brevis was observed in 74 samples.

According to FWC Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were present in 46 samples: one in Manatee County, 32 in and offshore of Sarasota County, two in Charlotte County, 10 in Lee County, and one in Collier County. Additional details are provided below.

  • In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in Pinellas County, very low to medium concentrations in Manatee County, very low to high concentrations in and offshore of Sarasota County, medium and high concentrations in Charlotte County, very low to high concentrations in Lee County, and medium concentrations in Collier County.

Reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received over the past week in Southwest Florida in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties.