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Red tide is back in waters off Anna Maria Island, state says

No red tide in Manatee...yet

The waters of Manatee County appear to be free of red tide, though officials believe it's likely that red tide will drift into our waters.
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The waters of Manatee County appear to be free of red tide, though officials believe it's likely that red tide will drift into our waters.

Red tide is back in Manatee County shores — news that will be unwelcome by everyone.

A sample taken at the Coquina Beach South Boat ramp on Monday found very low levels of Karenia brevis, the algae that causes a red tide, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

It’s not the first patch of red tide detected on the Florida’s west coast this month. Very low levels of Karenia brevis were detected off of Nokomis Beach last week. It’s also been recently detected in very low concentrations in Charlotte County and background concentrations in Lee County.

There have been no reports of fish kills or respiratory irritation, however.

Manatee County waters have been free from red tide for several months, but potentially toxic blue-green algae has been detected in waters near Anna Maria and in Palma Sola and Sarasota bays in the past week, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. None of the toxins the algae iscapable of producing have been detected, however, but some testing is still pending.

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Red tide hit Manatee County hard last year. Starting in early August, it dumped tons of dead fish and other marine animals on local beaches and in canals and other waterways. It clouded the Gulf of Mexico and polluted the air, and hurt hotels and other tourist-related businesses.

Since August, red tide has strongly impacted sea life, business, tourism and the environment on Anna Maria Island.

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