NAPLES — The Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) has issued a Health Alert for the presence of a red tide bloom in the following areas: Cocohatchee State Park.
The previous alerts issued for Barefoot Beach, Barefoot Beach State Preserve, Caxambas Park (Caxambas Bay), Collier Boulevard Boating Park (Flotilla Passage) Doctors Pass, Keewaydin Island, Lee Avenue (Big Marco Pass), Marco Island, Marco Island Beach, Naples Pier, Seagate, and Vanderbilt Beach remain in effect. A Caution is in effect for Marco South Beach. The public should exercise caution in and around these areas.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
• Look for informational signage posted at most beaches.
• Stay away from the water, and do not swim in waters with dead fish.
• Those with chronic respiratory problems should be especially cautious and stay away from this location as red tide can affect your breathing.
What is red tide?
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.
Is it harmful?
K. brevis produces potent neurotoxins (brevetoxins) that can be harmful to the health of both wildlife and people. Wind and wave action can break open K. brevis cells and release toxins into the air. This is why you should monitor conditions and use caution when visiting affected water bodies.
People in coastal areas can experience varying degrees of eye, nose and throat irritation during a red tide bloom. Some individuals with chronic respiratory conditions like asthma or chronic lung disease might experience more severe symptoms. Red tide toxins can also affect the central nervous system of fish and other marine life, which can lead to fish kills and increased wildlife strandings or mortalities. Eating contaminated seafood can cause neurotoxic shellfish poisoning in humans. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting; tingling of the mouth, lips and tongue; and slurred speech and dizziness.