Red tide: Respiratory irritation possible from Bonita Beach to Marco Island through the weekend, county says
Respiratory irritation is possible from Bonita Beach to Marco Island through the weekend due to red tide, according to a Collier County report published Friday.
"People with chronic respiratory illnesses such as asthma or emphysema should avoid going to the beach as these illnesses may be aggravated," the report says.
Dead fish are being reported intermittently from Seagate Beach to Gordon Pass and inside Naples Bay, according to the report. New reports of dead fish along Keewaydin Island and in Johnsons Bay were received Friday but no respiratory irritation was reported.
Caused by the organism Karenia brevis, red tide occurs naturally in the Gulf of Mexico but is thought by many water quality scientists to be fed by excess nutrients running off the landscape.
Counts ranged this week in south Lee and Collier counties from normal background levels to more than 100,000 cells per liter, which is enough to cause fish kills and breathing issues in humans, marine mammals and sea turtles, The News-Press reported Thursday.
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The most recent samples taken from Marco Island waters show normal levels of Karenia brevis.
A patch of red tide has been lingering off the coast of Sanibel for at least a week, and another has been offshore of Naples for several days, according to federal satellite reports.
Hundreds of dead fish washed up on several Collier beaches earlier this week.
The next sample collection will be Oct. 7 and results should be available the evening of Oct. 8, according to the report.
To report dead fish or red tide symptoms, people should contact Collier County Pollution Control at 239-252-2502 or email email@example.com, according to the report. To speak to a health professional regarding red tide symptoms people can call the Florida Poison Information Center toll free at 1-800-222-1222.
Collier County Red Tide Updates are also available on the Red Tide Hotline at 239-252-2591, according to the report. This is an automated recording with the most recent Red Tide information for Collier County available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more red tide information, go to www.colliergov.net/redtideupdate.
Additional reporting by Chad Gillis.