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Red tide still plaguing Sarasota and Manatee counties

Map of red tide this week
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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Map of red tide this week

Low concentrations of the organism that causes red tide are no longer being reported at the mouth of Tampa Bay.

Red tide is no longer drifting north along the Gulf Coast.

Only background concentrations of the organism that causes red tide were found along Pinellas County beaches this week. State environmental officials say low concentrations reported last week at the mouth of Tampa Bay are no longer being found.

That's not the case in Manatee and Sarasota counties, where medium and high concentrations of red tide are still being found.

Medium concentrations are reported along Sarasota Bay and Turtle Beach. High concentrations are found at Roberts Bay in Venice and Englewood Beach. People are advised not to swim in these areas.

Fish kills suspected of being related to red tide were reported this week in Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

Red tide was detected at every beach in Sarasota County soon after Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers in late September. It's suspected that the huge amounts of runoff from the hurricane into the Gulf is feeding these blooms.

Earlier this month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, in nearly 100 samples throughout Southwest Florida.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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