Red Tide Report (Update)

 Red Tide Status Update for September 7, 2018

Weekly Change: September 1 to 7

Current Conditions
A bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida and extends from Pinellas to northern Collier counties along ~120 miles of coastline. Observations of >1,000,000 K. brevis cells per liter (“high” concentrations) occurred in samples collected in or offshore of Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties only. Relative to last week, multiple locations in Sarasota and Collier counties showed decreased cell concentrations. An aerial survey conducted on 9/6 as well as recent water sampling and chlorophyll satellite imagery indicate that the bloom of K. brevis likely extends offshore (10 miles or more) in some areas of the bloom region. Patchy accumulations of the marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium were also observed ~10 miles offshore of Manatee and Sarasota counties. Persistent surface currents—prior to, during, and after the passage of Tropical Storm Gordon—likely played a role in transporting cells of K. brevis to the northwest. More specific details are provided below.

  • In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to medium concentrations in or offshore of Pinellas County, background to medium concentrations in Manatee County, background to high concentrations in Sarasota County, very low to high concentrations in or offshore of Charlotte County, background to high concentrations in or offshore of Lee County, and medium concentrations in Collier County. For additional information, view the southwest coast report Adobe PDF and map Adobe PDF

  • In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low concentrations in one sample collected from Bay County. For additional information, view the Northwest Coast report Adobe PDF and map Adobe PDF.

  • Samples collected along the east coast of Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis. For additional information, view the East Coast report Adobe PDF and map Adobe PDF.

Fish Kills
Over the past week, reports were received for multiple locations in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee counties. More detailed information is available at /fishkill.

Respiratory Irritation
Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee counties. For additional information, view the Southwest Coast report Adobe PDF. 

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red TidesExternal Website for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict net northwestern movement of surface waters for most areas and net southeastern transport of subsurface waters over the next three days. A change from northwestern to southeastern surface transport is predicted to occur towards the end of this period.  

Red Tide Status Map (September 7, 2018)
Statewide Red Tide Counts August 30 through September 6, 2018
View a larger map Adobe PDF
 (September 7, 2018)

To see detailed information on this week's samples, view the current Statewide Google Earth map for September 7, 2018External Website

By using Google Earth, you can zoom in to specific locations and click on stations to see detailed information, including sample date and cell concentration. You must have Google Earth installed on your computer to view this map; the software can be downloaded from the Google Earth websiteExternal Website

Archived status maps can be found in our Flickr gallery.

Latest Red Tide Status Report Available by Phone
Call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to hear a recording about red tide conditions throughout the state. Callers outside of Florida can dial 727-552-2448. Standard calling charges apply.

Reports are updated on Friday afternoon except during holidays, in which case the report will be released on the closest day. Additional information, if available, is provided on Wednesday afternoon. To receive an e-mail when the current status has been updated, visit our subscription area.

Additional Information
For additional information about red tide and the current red tide bloom, including information on how to report a fish kill or other wildlife effects, consult health authorities about human exposure, or locate other resources, visit our Red Tide-Related Hotlines and Information Sources article.

Blue-Green Algae Bloom Information

Additional information regarding the current status of algal blooms in South Florida is being consolidated and posted on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s website:


DescriptionKarenia breviscells/literPossible Effects (K. brevis only)
NOT PRESENT - BACKGROUND background levels of 1,000 cells or less None anticipated
VERY LOW >1,000 to 10,000 Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures > 5,000 cells/L
LOW >10,000 to 100,000 Respiratory irritation, possible fish kills and bloom chlorophyll probably detected by satellites at upper limits
MEDIUM >100,000 to 1,000,000 Respiratory irritation and probable fish kills
HIGH >1,000,000

As above plus discoloration

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