An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Red tide research not slowing down despite shrinking bloom

People living in Southwest Florida can breathe easier now that red tide has lessened along our coast. Scientists studying the harmful algal bloom explained to WINK News why sampling and studying now is just as important as when we see a severe bloom.

Karenia brevis, the organism that comprises red tide, is always around. It lives in the water column, buried in the sediment.

“We had the storm—everything got stirred up,” said Calli Johnson, a Florida Gulf Coast University dive safety officer. “And the idea is that the organism that causes red tide also gets stirred up when things like that happen.”

Stirred up and fueled by excess nutrients that infiltrated the Gulf. When K. brevis grows out of control, it becomes a problem that leads to dead marine life on the shoreline and respiratory irritation for us on land.