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Red Tide Has Now Reached Hillsborough As Blooms Persist In Southwest Florida

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Along with toxic red tide blooms, a nontoxic cyanobacteria that blooms annually in the Gulf of Mexico has also been reported in the past week or so.

Red tide algae blooms have been detected recently in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in its Friday report that low concentrations of the red tide organism Karenia brevis were detected in Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Fish kills related to red tide have been reported in Manatee, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier. Respiratory irritations were also recorded in those counties, including in Sarasota.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said in its Piney Point update Sunday that it’s continuing to work with the FWC and the Florida Department of Health to monitor algal blooms and water quality. More than 200 million gallons of nutrient-rich wastewater was dumped into Port Manatee to avert a disastrous reservoir collapse at the old phosphate plant.

In Southwest Florida, patches of the marine cyanobacterium called Trichodesmium have recently been reported. This algae bloom occurs each year, and is said to not be toxic. It resembles sawdust, but can change color as it decomposes.

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