On the southwest coast of Florida, a bloom of the Florida Red Tide organism, Karenia brevis, continues alongshore in medium to low concentration levels. The bloom originated early last week off Tampa Bay. Now, the Red Tide organism has been found to be present in various concentrations along the Collier County beaches. Recent satellite imagery was partially obscured by cloud cover alongshore; but some patches of elevated to very high chlorophyll were visible extending as far as southern Collier.
Winds will be mostly from the south with a slight westerly shift on Friday, which may increase the chances for impacts, such as dead or dying fish and possible upper respiratory effects, at the beaches or near waterways. There has been a fish kill of approximately 20 to 30 fish observed in canals on the east side of Marco Island, off the Marco River, particularly along Nassau Court area. Tide will take the fish in and out for a few days and eventually naturally dissipate by decomposition or bird consumption. To the north of Marco Island, Barefoot Beach, has dead fish on the beaches, though there are no reports to date of dead or dying fish on the Marco Island beaches.
Based on current results, people with respiratory illnesses such as asthma or emphysema should avoid going to the beach as these illnesses can be aggravated. If swimming, rinsing off should occur afterwards. Fish caught that are lively are edible; dead, distressed or dying fish, fish with lesions, should not be eaten. Seafood in restaurants is safe to consume.
The next sampling of the water for Red Tide will be today, October 18th, 2012. Results should be available later on Friday, October 19th, 2012.
To report dead fish or red tide symptoms, please call, locally, Nancy Richie, City of Marco Island Environmental Specialist at (239)389-5003 or the Collier County Pollution Control and Prevention Department at (239) 252-2502.
To speak to a health professional anytime, toll free, call the Aquatic Toxins Hotline at 1-888-232-8635.
Collier County Red Tide Updates are also available on the Red Tide Hotline at (239) 252-2591 or athttp://www.colliergov.net/redtideupdate. This is an automated recording with the most recent Red Tide information for Collier County available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.