SARASOTA (WWSB) - For the first time this year, we are seeing continued reports of low to no concentrations of red tide along most of the Suncoast. The water is clear, there’s wildlife back on the beaches, and tourists are finally making their way back.
Although we don't get the official FWC Red Tide Status report until Wednesday, here's today's daily sample map which shows no red tide cells found in any beaches in Sarasota County.
There are only two beaches in Manatee County that are seeing some higher cell counts, but this is still huge progress for the West Coast of Florida which hasn’t seen numbers like this since 2017.
“It literally couldn’t come at a better time because we are just starting to enter the busy part of the season, so I hope that the people that come down every year, and that local people as well, are catching on to that fact. They should not be afraid to come out on the water. Whether it’s our business or any other business on the water because the water is looking really good right now,” Adam Stoneking, the General Manager of Le Barge Cruises, explained.
However, while red tide is loosening its grip on the Suncoast, MOTE Marine Laboratory says these daily sample maps can be a bit deceiving.
“We still do have a patchy bloom of Florida red tide. Now, our reports have gone down substantially, and if you look at our satellite data from yesterday, it looks so much better than it has in the past,” Dr. Tracy Fanara, Program Manager for the Environmental Health Department at MOTE Marine, told us. “We still do see some patches off the coast, mostly in the southern counties and a small one in Manatee county, but it looks so much better.”
Right now, there are no levels of red tide concentration near the coast, but there are still blooms out in the Gulf - which hopefully, will disperse soon, as well.
“All in all we take those as good signs. We hope that it continues, and we’re looking forward to a busy tourist season,” Stoneking said.