Red Tide May be Back in Gulf

Red Tide
TAMPA -

Officials say toxic algae is growing off of Collier and Lee county beaches. And traces of red tide hve been detected off Siesta Key, near Sarasota.

Nadine Slimak with Mote Marine Labs in Sarasota says karenia brevis - or red tide - can always be found in the Gulf of Mexico, but at very low levels.

SLIMAK: What we have essentially right now are two blips on the radar we're keeping an eye on. We have scientists doing water samples out on a three-day boat trip from Tampa Bay to south of Naples. We do those trips monthly. In those trips and daily tests at Mote, we've gotten zero counts of karenia brevis.

But she says there have been no reports of fish kills or people with breathing difficulties. Red drift algae, a non-toxic seaweed, has also been washing ashor on beaches from Sanibel Island to Naples for months.

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