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“Red Tide”

February 10, 2023

By Kimmy Foulds

Red Tide continues to linger along the coastlines of Southwest Florida since Hurricane Ian smashed on land in Lee County.

For months now as an aftermath from the historical and powerful Category 4 Hurricane Ian, there have been boiling water alerts and Red Tide levels in the region’s shores as the beach communities continue to restore and rebuild from the damaging devastation.

Florida Department of Health in Lee County has issued even more recent health warnings for the presence of a Red Tide bloom near Buck Key at Blind Pass, Gasparilla Island State Park at Boca Grande Pass, Tarpon Bay Road Beach at Sanibel Island and Lighthouse Beach at Sanibel Island.

Red Tide is one type of harmful algal blooms in Southwest Florida that may cause respiratory and skin irritation with onshore winds. The discolored clear blue waters in Southwest Florida turn yellow, red, brown, greenish hues in the warm waters and have threatened residents, fish, turtles, birds and marine life. 

Red Tide smells like stinky bad food that is way past the decaying process. This type of algae produces potent neurotoxins that live in the sea and freshwater.

Wave action can break open the toxins to be suspended in the air near beaches with sulfur smells and cause human respiratory illness with symptoms of coughing, sneezing and teary burning eyes. The elements drastically and seriously affect people with severe or chronic breathing conditions such as emphysema or asthma and many other health issues.

More information on Red Tide can be found at Florida Health Lee County For Southwest Florida.

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