As the patchy bloom of red tide continues to threaten the Tampa Bay area, beachgoers excited to feel the fresh breeze this weekend should check the latest red tide report to take proper safety measures.
Right when we thought red tide had subsided, the organism made its way back, lingering around area beaches once again. At the beginning of September, there were no reports of the red tide organism, K. brevis, from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). However, recent samples collected showed concentrations in many counties throughout the Florida Gulf Coast, but most specifically in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Friday's red tide report shows background to high concentrations in 13 samples collected in and offshore of Pinellas County, very low to low concentrations in Hillsborough County, very low to high concentrations in 10 samples collected in and offshore of Manatee County and low to high concentrations in 30 samples collected in Sarasota County.
Samples were also collected at very low concentrations offshore of Hernando County and low to medium concentrations in or offshore of Pasco County.
According to FWC's red tide map, concentrations are most present located offshore and onshore near Madeira Beach and farther south near south Lido Key Beach.
You can check out the FWC's latest fishkill reports here.
Red tide is one of the water's deadliest enemies, and it occurs nearly every summer along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Some years, however, it's worse than others.
The blooms can last as little as a few weeks or longer than a year and can even subside and then reoccur, according to FWC.
Local researchers and scientists who are working to find solutions to red tide have said climate change and human activity remain a concern and contributing factor.
They say while red tide occurs naturally, people and communities need to do their part to decrease its intensity.