What to Know About Red Tide on Anna Maria Island

| August 11, 2021

Red tide raises some concern for travelers heading to the sunshine state come late summer and early fall. Regardless of where you are in Florida, when the news mentions red tide, it’s paramount to know exactly where the bloom is and where it could be heading. 

For those who have never seen or experienced ride tide, you might be wondering what exactly it is. Here are some important answers to common questions about red tide on Anna Maria Island.

What is red tide?

Red tide is a harmful algal bloom that has a higher-than-normal concentration of microscopic algae. While red tide occurs naturally in Florida, conditions can become more severe causing the bloom to grow. Factors like human-contributed nutrients and nutrient pollution contribute to the severity of the bloom. These blooms typically turn the Gulf water into a red or brown hue. However, the water can remain its normal color during a bloom, which can be deceiving for beachgoers. 

What makes red tides harmful?

– Red tides produce toxic chemicals that negatively affect both marine organisms and humans.

Karenia brevis is a ride tide organism most common in Florida. This species produces brevetoxins that affect the

central nervous system of fish and other vertebrates, which causes them to die, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

-Dead marine life releases toxins into the air, which can cause respiratory issues for humans. People with emphysema or asthma are at very high risk for serious illness following exposure to red tide.

What types of symptoms can people experience from red tide?

-Indicators of exposure to red tide include eye, nose, and throat irritation.

-Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath while on the beach or from the winds blowing onshore are also signs of symptoms of red tide.

-Research has started for the Red Tide Project, a first-of-its-kind study, by the Roskamp Institute to see if there are long-term effects from brevetoxin exposure.

How do I find out if a beach is impacted by red tide?

-You can check daily beach conditions from Mote Marine Laboratory. Find your desired beach and click on the interactive map to see reports of water conditions, if there are any respiratory irritations listed or if dead fish are present.

-Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission updates its site with a red tide status report each Wednesday and Friday. They also have an interactive map that represents the most recent 8 days of sampling for Karenia brevis.

-If there is red tide in Manatee County, the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources performs a morning sweep of the public beaches to clear small clumps of seaweed and grass that wash ashore.

-The Ocean Circulation Group provides red tide predication and tracking for the Tampa Bay region, which is just north of Anna Maria Island.

-If you’re planning a trip to Anna Maria Island but are hesitant because of red tide, don’t be! You can check the status of conditions from any of the trusted sources above. We also highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to help plan your vacation with confidence. If you have any questions or wish to check on property availability, you can fill out a form and contact us or call at (813) 748-8215.

Here are some other articles you might enjoy reading!

4 Safety Tips for the Beach 

Why Anna Maria Island is Perfect For a Vacation

Benefits of Booking a Stay with Serendipity

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