Researchers test water samples for red tide in SWFL

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Researchers at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are testing water samples to determine how the concentration of red tide is effecting the state’s coastal waters.

They receive close to 150 samples every week.

Kate Hubbard, an FWC research scientist, said how the samples are used to detect the impact of the algae bloom.

“We started to see the bloom in November and now it’s May, so that is a fairly long lasting bloom,” Hubbard said.

Not only is the annual bloom lasting longer this year, but many say the effects have been particularly worse.

“You’re taking these breaths and it’s like these little knives going down from the red tide,” said visitor Paul Schirmer.

Hubbard says the bloom begins about 40 miles off the coast of Florida, making beaches around Sanibel, Fort Myers and Bonita prime locations for red tide to spring up.

The FWC’s most recent map shows lesser concentrations in SWFL.

WINK News collected several samples from local beaches and put them to the test.

After examining them under a microscope, and hand counting the bacteria, Hubbard and her team found little to no traces of red tide.

WINK News reporter Janae Muchmore has the full story in the segment above.

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