Red Tide Current Status
Red Tide Status Update for October 15, 2021
A patchy bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Over the past week, K. brevis was detected in 157 samples. Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were observed in 61 samples: one in Bay County, one in Franklin County, two in and offshore of Pasco County, 13 in and offshore of Pinellas County, 10 in and offshore of Manatee County, 30 in Sarasota County, one in Charlotte County, and three in Lee County. K. brevis was also detected at background concentrations along Florida’s East Coast. Thanks to our partners at USF and NOAA, we are using satellite imagery – shown in the provided maps – to track patches of elevated chlorophyll (as a proxy for algal biomass) along the Panhandle (from Bay County extending eastward), offshore of the Big Bend (and along Dixie and Levy counties), and along Southwest Florida (from the Pasco/Pinellas County line to Lee County). Additional details are provided below.
- In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to high concentrations in or offshore of Pinellas County, very low to low concentrations in Hillsborough County, very low to high concentrations in or offshore of Manatee County, very low to high concentrations in or offshore of Sarasota County, background to medium concentrations in Charlotte County, and background to medium concentrations in or offshore of Lee County. For additional information, view the Southwest Coast report and map.
- In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at low concentrations in Santa Rosa County, background to very low concentrations in Okaloosa County, background to low concentrations in Walton County, background to medium concentrations in Bay County, background to low concentrations in Gulf County, low to medium concentrations in Franklin County, very low concentrations offshore of Taylor County, background and low concentrations offshore of Dixie County, background to low concentrations in or offshore of Levy County, very low concentrations offshore of Hernando County, and low to medium concentrations in or offshore of Pasco County. For additional information, view the Northwest Coast report and map.
- Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in St. Johns County. For additional information, view the East Coast report and map.
Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported on the Florida Gulf Coast in Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Levy, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties over the past week. For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.
Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported over the past week on the Florida Gulf Coast in Franklin, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee counties. For recent and current information at individual beaches, please visit https://visitbeaches.org/ and for forecasts that use FWC and partner data, please visit https://habforecast.gcoos.org/.
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Escambia to Gulf counties predict southern/southwestern movement of surface waters and eastern transport of subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3.5 days. Net southern movement of surface waters and minimal coastal movement of subsurface waters are predicted in most areas from Franklin to Pasco Counties. Net southern/southwestern movement of surface waters and southeastern transport of subsurface waters are predicted in most areas from Pinellas to northern Monroe Counties.
Piney Point Updates
FWC-FWRI is working closely with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and other partners on the Piney Point response effort. Status updates and results are posted on the Protecting Florida Together website (https://protectingfloridatogether.gov/PineyPointUpdate) and on the Tampa Bay Estuary Program website (https://shiny.tbep.org/piney-point/).
View a larger map (October 15, 2021).
To see detailed information on this week's samples, view the current Statewide Google Earth map for October 15, 2021.
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 website.
The next complete status report will be issued on Friday, October 22nd. Please check our daily sampling map which can be accessed from the top of this page.
Latest Red Tide Status Report Available by Phone
Call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to hear a recording about red tide conditions throughout the state. Callers outside of Florida can dial 727-502-4952. Standard calling charges apply.
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.
For additional information about red tide and the current red tide bloom, including information on how to report a fish kill or other wildlife effects, consult health authorities about human exposure, or locate other resources, visit our Red Tide-Related Hotlines and Information Sources article.
Blue-Green Algae Bloom Information
Additional information regarding the current status of algal blooms in South Florida is being consolidated and posted on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s website: https://floridadep.gov/dear/algal-bloom.
Key for Results
|Description||K. brevis abundance||Possible effects (K. brevis only)|
|NOT PRESENT- BACKGROUND||background levels of 1,000 cells or less||no effects anticipated|
|VERY LOW||> 1,000 - 10,000 cells/L||possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures when cell abundance equals or exceeds 5,000 cells/L|
|LOW||> 10,000 - 100,000 cells/L||respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures; possible fish kills; probable detection of chlorophyll by satellites at upper range of cell abundance|
|MEDIUM||> 100,000 - 1,000,000 cells/L||respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures; probable fish kills; detection of surface chlorophyll by satellites|
|HIGH||> 1,000,000 cells/L||as above, plus water discoloration|