Red tide is an especially harmful algal bloom that impacts Florida’s local fauna, flora, fishing industries, and human health. Red tides are caused by red-colored Karenia brevis, a type of dinoflagellate.
These red algae produce powerful natural toxins that affect many marine animals. Fish kills are the most visible effect of red tide, but the toxins also pose a threat to humans and their pets.
The red tides occur in Florida’s Gulf Coast from time to time, mostly during the late summer or early fall, due to red-tide producing algae being carried by currents from the Caribbean Sea. When red tides reach coastal waters they can release more toxins into the sea, which in turn creates red tide blooms.
These red tide blooms can last for days or months, killing marine life and causing illness among humans who eat contaminated shellfish.
Red tide red algae (Karenia Brevis) occur naturally in the Gulf of Mexico and harbor between Florida’s Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor.
Although red tide red algae are always present in some concentrations, blooms usually remain offshore of the west coast of Florida.
The red tides form when red-tide producing Karenia Brevis move inshore, usually by currents through the Gulfstream, which act as an artificial boundary between red tide and non-red-tide.
Red tide has been documented for more than 400 years in Florida and has had devastating impacts on fisheries and coastal economies. Until 2000, red tides were typically isolated events along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Red tides were documented as far back as the 1500s in the journals of Spanish explorers, who wrote about huge fish kills witnessed along Florida’s coast. Red tide was likely responsible for massive die-offs that drove Native Americans out of coastal areas hundreds of years ago; however these historic events happened before scientists began recording their observations. Red Tide is documented so far back historically because it has always been considered an anomaly in Florida’s otherwise crystal clear, nutrient-poor gulf waters. Red Tide blooms are rarely found out at sea and only form near the shoreline, where their actual cause remains a mystery to modern scientists.
There are many factors that contribute to Red Tide,
but the majority of Red Tide outbreaks in Florida can be traced back to nutrient pollution and a phenomenon called upwelling. Upwelling occurs when strong winds churn the ocean, bringing colder deeper waters rich in nutrients to the surface. Red Tide requires nitrogen and phosphorus from land runoff to flourish, so strong Atlantic winds during the summer, typically between June and November, carry Red Tide blooms toward the shoreline. Red tides have been especially intense in recent years because of record-breaking runs of blue northers, cold fronts that travel down the peninsula from the north and bring strong winds to Southwest Florida. These strong northern winds are associated with many of Florida’s Red Tide outbreaks including two severe Red Tides.
What Is Red Tide Florida?
Florida’s Red Tide is a Red or Brownish colored toxic algae (Karenia brevis) that can kill fish and other marine organisms. Red tide toxins drive away fish and shellfish, which impacts the economy on Florida’s coast. Red tide affects wildlife and fisheries – many animals who come into contact with red tide toxins experience paralysis and suffocation, and may also experience secondary infections in the lungs. Red tide toxins are also known to cause neurological harm in humans through consumption of contaminated shellfish and inhalation of aerosolized water droplets near the shoreline. Red tide has killed manatees, fish, pelicans, and dolphins throughout Florida’s coast. It is a natural phenomenon, but many believe that humans have exacerbated the severity and longevity of Red Tide blooms by over-polluting the waters of Southwest Florida.
Red Tide Florida Current Status Map (January 26, 2022)
Below this Florida’s map you can find the current status of red tide in your area:
Where Is The Red Tide In Florida Right Now?
Today January 26, 2022 Right Now is there no red tide affecting any beach in Florida. If you need any help or want the current status of the red tide you can make a call with to Florida fish and wildlife conservation commission.
How to Get The Latest Red Tide Stauts?
Local Florida’s Residents can get the latest red tide information on their phone by just dialing a simple number which is 1-800-282-1795 or you can call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to hear a recording about the latest red tide conditions. Callers outside of Florida can dial 727-502-4952. Standard calling charges apply.
Where is the Red Tide in Florida?
Red Tide is most commonly found along Florida’s Gulf Coast, but Red Tide has been reported in various parts of the state. Red tide outbreaks vary from small localized blooms to large expansive events that span hundreds of miles and last for months. Red Tide has been documented as far south as Key West and Big Pine Key and as far north as Englewood on the west coast and Anna Maria Island on the Gulf Coast.
The Gulf of Mexico has the most Red Tide outbreaks in Florida, but Red Tide can also be found along Atlantic beaches during the summer. Red Tide was first reported along the east coast of Florida in 1913 and has occurred 10 times since then. Red tide can survive even very weak oxygen conditions further out at sea, so Red tides have been documented at various points on the Gulf of Mexico.
What causes Red Tide in Florida State?
Red Tide is caused by a microscopic alga known as Karenia Brevis. Red Tide blooms are actually large accumulations or “plumes” of cells that can span hundreds of square miles. Red tide causes massive fish kills, releases toxins into the air, and creates dangerous swimming conditions along Florida’s coast. This phenomenon produces several different toxins that can affect both marine and terrestrial life. Its toxins are dispersed into the air during Red Tide’s “bloom” stage, which turns the Red tides milky blue-gray color. Red tide toxins are known to cause respiratory problems in humans and animals, including coughing, sneezing, tearing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
This natural disaster also kills fish and other marine life, creates respiratory irritation for people, and can contaminate shellfish. Red Tide toxins may also affect the central nervous system of large vertebrates such as manatees, dolphins, and possibly even humans. Red Tide blooms impact Florida’s economy as well as public health and safety.
What Beaches have Red Tide in Florida?
Red Tide outbreaks are most commonly reported between Sarasota County and Charlotte County. Red Tide has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast from Pasco County to Monroe County, but it is much more common in the southern half of the state. The red tide did not reach Pinellas and Hillsborough counties during the 2005-2006 Red Tide event and was reported only in the southern half of Hernando County. It was reported in these areas during the 2006-2007 Red Tide bloom, but research suggests that Red Tide traveled north from Lee County without blooming until it reached Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. It has been documented in coastal waters along with Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and Monroe counties. Red Tide was most widespread during the 2005-2006 Red Tide event when it covered Palm Beach County to Sarasota County and included Sanibel and Captiva Islands as well as Pine Island. Red Tide has been documented on Pensacola Beach during the summer months since at least 1942.
Red Tide Florida Locations affected beaches list
- Coastal waters along Manatee
- Collier and Monroe counties.
- Palm Beach County
- Sarasota County
- Sanibel and Captiva islands as well as Pine Island.
Beaches in Florida that do not have Red Tide Phenomenon:
- Orange Beach
- Panama City Beach
- Destin Beach
- Hillsboro Beach
- Vero Beach
- New Smyrna Beach
- Daytona Beaches
Flagler Beaches. Red tide blooms do not typically reach shore until they are within 50 miles of the coast. If Red Tide is observed offshore, keep in mind that blooms often travel with currents and tides, so Red tide may be moving in a direction different from wind or water flow.
When is Red Tide Season In Florida?
Red tide typically begins in late summer or fall and can last as long as two or more years. Red tides are not evenly spaced throughout the year but tend to recur in yearly cycles. The Red Tide season peaks between October and February. Red Tides can appear any time that water temperatures are above 20°C (68 °F) for several weeks. Red tides have been reported in every month of the year, but most often occur in late summer and early fall. Red Tide has been documented from early February to as late as December – a period of nearly 11 months.
How bad is Red Tide in Florida?
This natural phenomenon is a very dangerous situation for sea animals or as well as humans. Red Tide just kills fish, birds, and marine animals. Red tide is the common name for an algal bloom caused by Karenia Brevis, formerly known as Gymnodinium breve. Red tides produce toxic chemicals that can affect both marine organisms and humans. Red tides (blooms) are caused by naturally occurring microscopic algae that multiply out of control while producing toxic chemicals that affect the central nervous system of fish and other marine life, causing them to die. Onshore, Red tides cause eye irritation to humans and sometimes respiratory problems.
How To Get The Latest Red Tide Status?
Local Florida’s Residents can get the latest red tide information on their phone by just dialing a simple number which is 1-800-282-1795 or you can call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to hear a recording about the current status of red tide. Callers outside of Florida can dial 727-502-4952. Standard calling charges apply.
Pictures of Red Tide In Florida
Here is a picture which was clicked when the red tide came at Florida’s coastal area: