What is Red Tide & why we have it in Southwest Florida!
Red tide, , is a phenomenon that occurs when there is a rapid growth and accumulation of certain types of algae in water, often causing the water to turn a reddish-brown color.
These algae can produce toxins that can harm marine life and pose a risk to humans if consumed or if people come into contact with the contaminated water or aerosolized toxins. The effects of red tide can vary from mild irritation to more severe.
Red tide can occur naturally, but can also be exacerbated by human activities such as pollution and nutrient runoff.
Red tide occurs in Florida due to a combination of natural factors and human activities. The primary cause of red tide in Florida is the presence of a single-celled marine organism called Karenia brevis, which thrives in warm, nutrient-rich waters. These conditions are often found in the Gulf of Mexico, where the warm water from the Gulf Stream meets the nutrient-rich waters that flow out of the Mississippi River.
Human activities such as agriculture and development can contribute to the problem by increasing nutrient runoff into the ocean. Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers can fuel the growth of Karenia brevis and other harmful algal blooms. Additionally, sewage discharges and stormwater runoff can introduce nutrients and other pollutants into the ocean, exacerbating the problem.
If you are coming into the area please see the Red Tide Beaches Report which can let you know the conditions on our coastline!