SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla — After making its return in mid-September, the patchy bloom of red tide, Karenia brevis, has become persistent in the Tampa Bay area again.
At the beginning of September, there were no reports of the red tide organism, K. brevis, from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). However, recent samples collected showed concentrations in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
This week's red tide report shows background to high concentrations in 20 samples collected in and offshore of Pinellas County, very low to high concentrations in 18 samples collected in Manatee County and low to high concentrations in 26 samples collected in Sarasota County.
K. brevis was also present in very few samples in other county waterways. The red tide organism also appeared in very low concentrations in one sample offshore of Hernando County and low concentrations in two samples collected in Pasco County.
According to FWC's red tide map, concentrations are most present located offshore and onshore near Madeira Beach and farther south near Bradenton Beach and Venice.
You can check out the FWC's latest Fishkill reports here.
Red tide is one of the water's deadliest enemies, and it occurs nearly every summer along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Some years, however, it's worse than others.
The blooms can last as little as a few weeks or longer than a year and can even subside and then reoccur, according to FWC.
Local researchers and scientists who are working to find solutions to red tide have said climate change and human activity remain a concern and contributing factor.
They say while red tide occurs naturally, people and communities need to do their part to decrease its intensity.