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Blooms of red tide observed across Southwest Florida

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 17:29:52-05

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA - A patchy bloom of red tide has been observed in Southwest Florida. 

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the red tide organism, known as Karenia brevis, has been observed in several counties over the past week, including: 

  • At background concentrations in one sample from Pinellas County
  • At background concentrations in one sample from Manatee County
  • At background to medium concentrations in 22 samples from or offshore Sarasota County
  • At background to medium concentrations in 12 samples from Charlotte County 
  • At background to medium concentrations in 17 samples from or offshore Lee County
  • At background to medium concentrations in eight samples from Collier County

Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain the organism, Florida Fish and Wildlife said. 

Fish kills were reported in the following counties:

  • Sarasota: Casperson Beach, Lido Beach, Manasota Beach and Venice Beach
  • Charlotte: Little Gasparilla Beach
  • Lee: Big Carlos Pass, Big Hickory Island, Bonita Beach, Captiva, Causeway Islands, Fort Myers Beach, Gasparilla Island, Lighthouse Beach, Little Hickory Island, Lovers Key State Park, Newton Park, San Carlos Bay, Sanibel Island and offshore of St. James City
  • Collier: Barefoot Beach, Delnor-Wiggins Park, Doctor's Pass and Vanderbilt Beach
  • Monroe: Everglades National Park. 

Respiratory irritation was reported in the following counties: 

  • Sarasota: Lido Key, Manasota Beach, Nokomis, Venice Beach and Venice North Jetty
  • Lee: Bonita Beach, Captiva, Gasparilla Island State Park, Lovers Key and Newton Park
  • Collier: Barefoot Beach, Delnor-Wiggins State Park Beach, Seagate Beach and Vanderbilt Beach