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Red tide bloom being monitored off Southwest Florida

Bloom causing fish kills, respiratory irritation
wptv-ocean
Posted at 1:13 PM, Dec 16, 2020

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A red tide algae bloom is being watched in waters between Sanibel and Marco Island, state Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Director Gil McRae said Wednesday.

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The late-season bloom is "relatively patchy" and not as large as others in recent years, McRae told members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission during a virtual meeting. "But the levels are high enough off Sanibel beaches in Bonita Springs to cause fish kills and respiratory irritation."

McRae, whose institute is part of the commission, added the agency is "ramping up" monitoring of the waters and communication with local governments.

The state budget for the current fiscal year included $25 million to fight algae blooms and red tide.