WHAT IS RED TIDE?
Red tide is a type of harmful algae bloom (HAB) caused by an increase or “bloom” in the concentration of certain microscopic algae in the water column. Red tide events have been noted in Florida since the 1800’s and most certainly occurred prior to European settlement. The most common red tide organism in Florida is the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. In high enough concentrations the algae turns the water column a distinct red color. While K. brevis is a naturally occurring organism, nutrient enrichment of our coastal waters can make blooms worse and longer lived.
K. brevis does produce toxins that can be mixed with airborne sea spray. People may experience varying degrees of eye, nose, and throat irritation. When a person leaves an area with a red tide, symptoms usually go away. People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic lung disease are cautioned to avoid areas with active red tides.
REPORT FISH & WILDLIFE IMPACT
Contact Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to report fish or marine life impacted by red tide.