Red tide is getting worse along the Gulf beaches
Southerly winds are pushing the red tide blooms northward into Pinellas County.
State environmental officials on Wednesday said high levels of red tide were reported off the coast of Sarasota County and in Roberts Bay, near Venice. And medium levels continue to affect Pinellas beaches from Redington Beach to Fort De Soto.
The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science issued an advisory this week, cautioning that beachgoers may experience respiratory irritation while visiting beaches in Sarasota, Manatee and Pinellas counties.
Reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received from all three counties.
Southerly winds are being blamed for pushing the toxin north from Charlotte and Lee counties, where red tide first emerged in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
It has pushed it as far north as the Panhandle. Red tide was observed at background concentrations in one sample collected from Okaloosa County.
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas County south predict northern movement of surface waters and northwestern/western movement of subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3½ days.
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