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GCOOS tool forecasts high chance of respiratory irritation

By SCCF - | Dec 16, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System's Red Tide Respiratory Forecast for today.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Marine Lab is continuing to monitor a red tide bloom to the south of Sanibel, officials reported today. Part of that monitoring includes providing counts of Karenia brevis, the dinoflagellate that blooms into red tide, from water samples collected at the beaches.

Some of the counts are uploaded to the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System’s Red Tide Respiratory Forecast tool that the public can visit online to plan their beach time along the coast.

“Red tide impacts can be really variable because of wind patterns,” GCOOS Executive Director Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, an environmental health scientist who conducted the first studies documenting the impacts of Florida red tide blooms on human health, said. “But there are very few days when all beaches will be affected by red tide, and often your favorite beach is only affected for part of the day.”

“The Red Tide Respiratory Forecast lets people see which beaches might be impacted by red tide and at what time of the day, allowing them to plan their beach walks and other outdoor activities accordingly,” she added. “They can use this tool the same way they use other weather reports.”

For more information, visit https://habforecast.gcoos.org.