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Florida waters remain free of red tide, except for this one county

Florida’s coastal waters continue to test free of the organism that causes red tide.

It’s the longest break from red tide blooms that the state has had in more than a year.

This week’s test results from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show that red tide is not present in most parts of the state.

However, Karenia Brevis algae was detected at minor concentrations in a lone water sample in Southwest Florida.

Out of more than 30 recent water samples taken off of Lee County, one showed background concentrations of red tide (up to 1,000 cells of K. Brevis per liter). Lee County was also the only place in the state where respiratory irritation was reported over the past week.

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Red tide was not present or at background levels in all water samples collected around the state of Florida this week. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

At background levels, red tide has no anticipated effects on marine life or air quality, according to FWC.

Red tide reaches bloom levels accompanied by more severe impacts on wildlife and air quality at medium concentrations (less than 100,000-1,000,000 cells of K. Brevis per liter).

No fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported.

Red tide was not detected in any water samples off of Manatee County, Anna Maria Island or Sarasota County this week.

Short-term red tide tracking maps produced by the College of Marine Science at University of South Florida and the Florida Wildlife Research Institute predict that waters in the Tampa Bay region and the west Florida shelf will remain red-tide-free over the next three days.

FWC will issue the next statewide red tide status report on Friday.

For more information, call 866-300-9399 anytime from anywhere in Florida to get the latest red tide status report. Call 727-552-2448 from outside Florida.

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Ryan Ballogg covers arts, entertainment, dining, breaking and local news for the Bradenton Herald. He won first place for feature writing in the Florida Press Club’s 2018 Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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