Florida Red Tide Mid-Week Update for May 12, 2021

Current Conditions
The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida, where it was detected in 56 samples over the past week. Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were observed in two samples from Charlotte County, three samples from Lee County, and one sample from Collier County. K. brevis was also observed at background concentrations in one sample from Northwest Florida. Additional details are provided below.

  • In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low concentrations in Pinellas County (in one sample), background to low concentrations in Manatee County (in eight samples), background to low concentrations in Sarasota County (in 25 samples), background to medium concentrations in Charlotte County (in five samples), background to high concentrations in Lee County (in 10 samples), very low to high concentrations in Collier County (in four samples), and background to low concentrations offshore of Monroe County (in three samples). Samples from Hillsborough County did not contain red tide.
  • In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in Bay County (in one sample).
  • Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was not observed.

In Southwest Florida, patches of the marine cyanobacterium, Trichodesmium, have recently been reported in offshore, coastal, and nearshore waters. This alga blooms each year, has not been shown to be toxic in Florida’s waters, and often resembles sawdust but can change color as it decomposes. For more information, please see posts on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FLHABs) and information about Trichodesmium on our website (https://myfwc.com/research/redtide/general/trichodesmium/).

In Southwest Florida over the past week, fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported in Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties. For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Southwest Florida in Manatee, Lee, and Collier counties. For current information, please visit: https://visitbeaches.org/.

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict variable surface currents with net southern movement and southeastern net transport of subsurface waters in most areas over the next four days.

FWC-FWRI is working closely with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and other partners on the Piney Point response effort. Status updates and results are posted on the Protecting Florida Together website (https://protectingfloridatogether.gov/PineyPointUpdate) and on the Tampa Bay Estuary Program website (https://shiny.tbep.org/piney-point/).

The next complete status report will be issued on Friday, May 14th. Please check our daily sampling map, which can be accessed via the online status report on our Red Tide Current Status page. For more information on algal blooms and water quality, please visit Protecting Florida Together.

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.

READ MORE at myfwc.com