Low red tide levels still linger off Marco Island


A dead mullet is seen washed ashore Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at Barefoot Beach State Preserve in Bonita Springs. An agal bloom, known commonly as red tide, is a phenomenon where high concentrations of Karenia brevis, a microscopic marine algae, contain toxins that paralyze the nervous system in fish. In large quantities, they cause the water to appear red or murky, hence the name. The blooms can affect humans causing eye and respiratory conditions such as coughing, sneezing, tearing and itching.

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A dead mullet is seen washed ashore Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at Barefoot Beach State Preserve in Bonita Springs. An agal bloom, known commonly as red tide, is a phenomenon where high concentrations of Karenia brevis, a microscopic marine algae, contain toxins that paralyze the nervous system in fish. In large quantities, they cause the water to appear red or murky, hence the name. The blooms can affect humans causing eye and respiratory conditions such as coughing, sneezing, tearing and itching.

— A lingering red tide seems to be concentrated around Marco Island this week, Collier County pollution monitors reported Friday.

Tests of water samples taken Wednesday showed no beaches had red tide except on Marco, where very low levels were detected at Caxambas Pass and the Collier Boulevard boat ramp and low levels at Big Marco Pass.

Red tide is a bloom of microscopic algae that can release a toxin that kills marine life and causes people to have respiratory irritation, such as a scratchy throat or watery eyes.

Northerly to onshore winds through the weekend could cause some red tide effects at the beaches.

Monitors received reports of a few dead fish in Marco canals and some respiratory irritation from islanders. More water samples will be collected Monday.

The county is advising people with chronic respiratory problems, such as emphysema and asthma, to use caution when going to the beach to avoid exacerbating their conditions.

To report red tide symptoms or dead fish, call 239-252-2502. Red tide updates are available on the county's hotline at 239-252-2591.

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