A red tide has been identified in Collier County but may stay offshore, Collier County pollution monitors reported this week.
Satellite imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the bothersome bloom of microscopic algae may stretch about 15 miles offshore from the Collier-Lee county line to Cape Romano, south of Marco Island, according to the Collier County Pollution Control and Prevention Department.
Tests on water samples taken Monday showed red tide at background levels at the Goodland Bridge, low enough not to have any effect on people or wildlife. More samples are scheduled to be taken today.
Red tide can cause respiratory irritation and can kill marine life, littering beaches with dead fish. Offshore winds through this afternoon should minimize effects at the beaches, but the county is warning people with emphysema or asthma that going to the beach may aggravate their condition.
To report dead fish or red tide symptoms, call pollution monitors at 239-252-2502. Red tide updates are available on the red tide hotline at 239-252-2591.