NOAA, NWS warns of red tide in Manatee County

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 3:38 PM EST
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The National Weather Service via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is warning residents of Manatee County to prepare for high levels of red tide over the weekend.

Over the next 36 hours, NWS is forecasting high risk of respiratory irritation due to an increase of red tide at some beaches in Manatee County. People may experience respiratory issues, coughing and eye irritation. Health officials are urging people to stay out of the water.

Red tide is one type of harmful algal bloom caused by high concentrations of the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (K. brevis), a type of microscopic algae found in the Gulf of Mexico. 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.

Conditions may vary. For latest updates at individual beaches, see