Red Tide Current Status

FWC reports on the current status of Karenia brevis blooms using tables, static maps, and interactive Google Earth maps. Archived status maps can be found in our Flickr gallery.

Red Tide Status Report (February 23, 2018)

A patchy bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida.

In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low to medium concentrations in five samples collected from or offshore of Lee County, and medium concentrations in one sample collected offshore of Monroe County.

In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in one sample collected from Franklin County.

Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.

Fish kills were reported in Lee County at Bunche Beach and in Pine Island Sound (2/22) and in Monroe County, offshore of Marathon Key and Grassy Key in Florida Bay (2/16, and 2/19-2/21). Respiratory irritation was also reported in Monroe County, offshore of Marathon Key (2/19). Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red TidesExternal Website for Pinellas to Monroe counties predict northern, alongshore transport of surface waters and southern, onshore transport of subsurface waters over the next three days.

Red Tide Status Map (February 23, 2018)
02-15-22.jpg
View a larger map Adobe PDF (PDF 395KB) (February 23, 2018)

Regional Status Reports and Maps (February 23, 2018)

Southwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 114KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 335KB)
East coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 50KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 290KB)
Northwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 36KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 483KB)

To see detailed information on this week's samples, view the current Statewide Google Earth map for February 16, 2018External Website. 

By using Google Earth, you can zoom in to specific locations and click on stations to see detailed information, including sample date and cell concentration. You must have Google Earth installed on your computer to view this map; the software can be downloaded from the Google Earth websiteExternal Website

The FWRI Red Tide Status Line is now available to callers throughout the state. FWRI updates the recording each Friday by 5 p.m. Red Tide Status Line: 866-300-9399 (toll-free inside Florida only); 727-552-2448 (outside Florida).

Reports are updated on Friday afternoon except during holidays, in which case the report will be released on the closest day. Additional information, if available, is provided on Wednesday afternoon. To receive an e-mail when the current status has been updated, visit our subscription area.

FWC's Red Tide Action Report

Red tide is a naturally-occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. Blooms, or higher-than-normal concentrations, of the Florida red tide alga, Karenia brevis, frequently occur in the Gulf of Mexico. Red tide begins in the Gulf of Mexico 10 to 40 miles offshore and can be transported inshore by winds and currents.

FWC Actions and Partnerships:

  • FWC operates the toll-free fish kill hotline. To report fish kills, contact the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online. Reports from this hotline help FWC researchers track and better understand the impact of red tide in Florida.
  • FWC remains available to local agencies and partners in affected areas, including area business and tourism groups in southwest Florida. Any local agency or group that has any questions or concerns can contact Kelly Richmond from the FWC at 727-502-4784.
  • FWC continues to partner with the Florida Department of Health to advise residents and visitors of any potential health impacts. Residents and visitors can contact the DOH’s aquatic toxin experts at 850-245-4250 or contact their local health department for any concern about health safety.
  • FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory work together to monitor Karenia brevis. This cooperative effort is designed to help mitigate the adverse impacts of red tide. This joint research program that includes red tide monitoring, research and public outreach and education has resulted in better tools and ongoing monitoring for red tides along the Gulf Coast.
  • In partnership with the FWC, the Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides (CPR) at the University of South Florida offer a new Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) tracking tool that generates a 3.5-day forecast of the bloom trajectories.
  • To protect public health, FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) group closely monitors the status of K. brevis on Florida’s coasts, providing technical support to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACSExternal Website), the agency that regulates approved shellfish harvesting areas.  
  • Since 2000, FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute established a Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Program, which is a volunteer program for citizens to help collect water samples from routine collection points and sites reported for suspected harmful algal blooms (HABs).The timely sampling by volunteers allows researchers to provide an early warning of offshore algal blooms and investigate reported events as they occur. The Program needs volunteers to collect samples from all coastal Florida counties. To view more information visit, Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Program or use the Volunteer SignUp Form.

Red Tide Resources

Previous Regional Status Reports and Maps

February 16, 2018

Southwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 115KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 329KB)
East coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 56KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 288KB)
Northwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 42KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 485KB)
Google Earth mapExternal Website. 

February 09, 2018

Southwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 177KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 281KB)
East coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 56KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 290KB)
Northwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 56KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 405KB)
Google Earth mapExternal Website. 

February 02, 2018

Southwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 211KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 303KB)
East coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 51KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 411KB)
Northwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 50KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 404KB)
Google Earth mapExternal Website

January 26, 2018

Southwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 202KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 254KB)
East coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 41KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 290KB)
Northwest coast report Adobe PDF (PDF 44KB) and map Adobe PDF (PDF 347KB)
Google Earth mapExternal Website

Additional archived status maps can be found on FlickrExternal Website

Key for Results

DescriptionKarenia brevis cells/literPossible Effects (K. brevis only)
NOT PRESENT - BACKGROUND background levels of 1,000 cells or less None anticipated
VERY LOW >1,000 to 10,000 Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures > 5,000 cells/L
LOW >10,000 to 100,000 Respiratory irritation, possible fish kills and bloom chlorophyll probably detected by satellites at upper limits
MEDIUM >100,000 to 1,000,000 Respiratory irritation and probable fish kills
HIGH >1,000,000

As above plus discoloration


Hotlines and Information Sources



FWC Facts:
The Gulf sturgeon spawns 140 miles upstream from the mouth of the Suwannee River, one of the last pristine rivers with no dams to bar its path.

Learn More at AskFWC