The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has confirmed the presence of red tide in the coastal waters of Broward County at undetectable to low concentrations. Additional improvements continue to be noted in Broward County. The results of the water quality monitoring for Monday, October 15, indicated the following:
In coordination with FWC and our local municipal partners, county-wide water quality sampling will continue to be performed until there is no detectable presence of red tide. Currently, sampling is scheduled to occur multiple times weekly within the County, and those results will be posted as soon as they are available. The FWC’s statewide red tide map is currently being updated daily. Click here to view a map with the latest status on red tide throughout the state.
The red tide is produced by the algae Karenia Brevis, naturally occurring in the saline waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This algae is rare on the east coast as it prefers the calmer waters of the Gulf. However, of the 57 occurrences of red tide in the Gulf of Mexico since 1953, eight of these events have brought the red tide organism to the east coast of Florida via the Loop Current and Gulf Stream. None of these events resulted in large-scale blooms.
Local municipalities are being proactive with the posting of cautionary signage informing the public about the potential presence of red tide. The FWC advises beachgoers to use their best judgment when visiting a beach impacted by red tide. According to State Health officials, low and moderate concentrations can produce allergy-like symptoms, such as scratchy throat or watery eyes. Individuals with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COPD, should take measures to reduce exposure.
Historical data shows that red tide occurrences in the Atlantic are typically transient in nature and not as severe as those that occur in the Gulf. Based on experience, we anticipate that the dynamic conditions of the east coast will limit the presence, persistence, and concentration of the organism. The duration of the red tide depends on multiple environmental conditions that influence its growth and persistence, including sunlight, nutrients and salinity, as well as the speed and direction of wind and water currents.
The GFLCVB is in regular communication with officials from FWC and Broward County Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division to determine further courses of action. We will share data as soon as made available. For more information on red tide conditions locally and around the state, follow this link to FWC’s website: http://myfwc.com/research/redtide.
We will continue to provide updates here as it becomes available.