The FWC is closely monitoring Southwest Florida, since Karenia brevis, also known as red tide, was detected in multiple samples in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties this week. Red tide is a naturally occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs nearly every year.
As part of the FWC Center for Red Tide Research, USF-College of Marine Science and Mote Marine Laboratory have each deployed a glider equipped with sensors to better understand conditions offshore. The information collected will help direct future sampling and forecasting efforts.
In the FY 2022-23 budget, $4.8 million was invested for the Center for Red Tide Research at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI). The Center for Red Tide Research brings together state and local governments, universities, private sector partners, and citizen scientists to enhance statewide red tide monitoring and conduct applied research on red tide.
The FY 2022-23 budget also includes a dedicated $5 million for the Department of Environmental Protection’s red tide emergency grant program which supports county governments in cleanup of biological debris to minimize the impacts of red tide.