Red Tide off one SWFL beach prompts warning

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
caution sign

A sign is now posted next to one of the beach access points on Captiva warning of possible exposure symptoms. This comes as red tide was found just under five miles from the coast.

Those who live and vacation on Captiva say it’s hard to beat the weather there this time of year. Chris Neal is visiting from St. Louis. “It feels great. It’s windy. It’s cool,” said Neal.

But now, Red Tide is out in the gulf. “I do have some seasonal allergies and a little bit of seasonal asthma, but I haven’t noticed anything,” Neal tide map

The Lee County Health Department posted a cautionary sign to alert beachgoers at South Seas Plantation Beach access to some of the symptoms they could possibly experience.

Mike Parsons is a Marine Science Professor at FGCU’s Water School. “We don’t fully understand when and why they start, otherwise we would be predicting and forecasting them better,” Parsons said.

Parsons keeps a close eye on Red Tide blooms and says we have even more to learn. “The other part is we don’t really know how they end,” he said.

It’s also too soon to know how long the algae will stick around. “It was a fairly dry year this year considering we didn’t have huge amounts of rain, we did have some,” said Parsons. “And we of course had the Caloosahatchee discharges this past month, so there are some nutrients coming in from runoff and things like that that may help sustain it.”

Now we just have to wait and see what the tide brings.

If you want to check the latest Red Tide or explore our water challenges and solutions head to our webpage devoted to water quality.

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