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Beach hazard statements in place for red tide along SWFL beaches

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As red tide continues to linger off Southwest Florida shores, the National Weather Service has issued a Beach Hazard Statement that will be in effect through the weekend.

The National Weather Service’s Tampa and Miami offices issued advisory statements Friday evening, and it covers from the mouth of Tampa Bay south to Everglades City. The hazard statement is in effect until Monday.

Red tide is caused by algal blooms, and can lead to coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, and respiratory issues in people, and strong enough blooms can be fatal for aquatic wildlife.

A bulletin released by NOAA says that while the blooms are patchy and impacts will vary based on the intensity of the algae bloom, currents, and wind direction, there are high risks for respiratory distress from Manatee County south to coastal Collier through Sunday, and from Lee County northward through Monday.

Data released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission finds high concentrations of red tide throughout Southwest Florida and as far north as Tampa.

Fish kills have been reported along Florida’s west coast. The Lee County government is attempting to clean up areas that have been impacted by the fish kills, saying in a bulletin on Friday afternoon that CrowderGulf, a debris-removal contractor hired by the country, has been working to clean up county beaches, parks and boat ramps.


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