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SCCF provides update on today’s red tide respiratory irritation

By SCCF - | Jan 6, 2021

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 beaches on Sanibel.

The counts are uploaded to a Red Tide Respiratory Forecast tool that the public can visit online to plan their beach time along the coast. Today’s forecast is low to very low respiratory irritation based on current wind forecasts produced by the National Weather Service that are combined with K. brevis cell counts.

SCCF officials noted that the forecast and clear skies make it a great day to see the sunset.

As the winds are shifting tomorrow, the forecast for respiratory irritation is high to moderate. The Red Tide Respiratory Forecast tool allows users to click on various beaches for a specific forecast.

Hosted by SCCF’s partners at the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System, the online tool is a beach-level risk forecast activated during red tide conditions that tells beach-goers what red tide impacts are expected to be at individual beaches at different times of the day. It is especially important for those who have asthma, COPD or other chronic lung conditions and lets them know where red tide might be causing respiratory impacts so they can avoid those areas, officials reported.

For a continually-updated forecast, visit https://habforecast.gcoos.org.

To learn more about red tide, including its historical occurrence, potential health impacts and how to track it, visit SCCF’s Red Tide Resource page at www.sccf.org/water-quality/red-tide-resources.