Red Tide Alert issued for parts of Charlotte County

(Allison Baker)
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 6:12 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - DOH-Charlotte has joined Sarasota and Manatee counties in issuing a health alert for red tide bloom near Whidden Key, east of Lemon Bay and Buccaneer Bend west of ICW.

A water sample was taken on Nov. 7 that triggered the alert.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

· Look for informational signage posted at most beaches.

· Stay away from the water, and do not swim in waters with dead fish.

· Those with chronic respiratory problems should be especially cautious and stay away from this location as red tide can affect your breathing.

· Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish or distressed or dead fish from this location. If caught live and healthy, finfish are safe to eat as long as they are filleted, and the guts are discarded. Rinse fillets with tap or bottled water.

· Wash your skin and clothing with soap and fresh water if you have had recent contact with red tide.

· Keep pets and livestock away and out of the water, sea foam and dead sea life. If your pet swims in waters with red tide, wash it as soon as possible.

· Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner, making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications.

· If outdoors near an affected location, residents may choose to wear masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.

Red tide typically forms naturally offshore, commonly in late summer or early fall, and is carried into coastal waters by winds and currents. Once inshore, these opportunistic organisms can use nearshore nutrient sources to fuel their growth. Blooms typically last into winter or spring, but in some cases, can endure for more than one year.