Collier County looks into red tide concentrations found near beaches

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

We continue to track red tide blooms in Southwest Florida. Two spots in Collier County show low to medium concentrations of red tide, but there are no signs of fish kills Wednesday.

Collier County Pollution Control found medium concentrations at Vanderbilt Beach and also found a very low concentration of red tide off Barefoot Beach.

Rhonda Watkins, with Collier County, confirmed they received one reported case of respiratory irritation down near the Park Shore area.

“From a beachgoer at Vedado Way, which is down in the Park Shore area,” Watkins said. “I talked to our beach rakers this morning, and they said the beaches are all clear.”

Red tide tends to show up around the end of the year in Southwest Florida, but it can be patchy.

“If you have onshore wind, you might feel some respiratory irritation, even for people that may not be sensitive to it,” Watkins said. β€œThey can have that little tickle in their throat and cough. For people that are sensitive to it and have underlying issues like asthma or emphysema, it can really affect them.”

Those who experienced the Southwest Florida water quality crisis in 2018 say what we are seeing now is not as bad as it was two years ago.

β€œSo far so good,” Jen Biasi said. β€œIt feels fine.”

Biasi has lived in Naples for about 15 years, so she is no stranger to red tide.

“I’m used to red tide and how it feels and coughing and all of that,” Biasi said.

She dealt with the bad bloom from a couple years ago

β€œOh, it was awful,” Biasi said. β€œYou couldn’t sit on the beach for more than a couple of minutes without coughing.”

The County will go back out Thursday to collect samples and test them from five locations, with the expectation of results Friday.

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