Monday, February 4, 2019

Florida's toxic algae levels just hit their lowest in more than a year

Posted By on Mon, Feb 4, 2019 at 1:21 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA FLICKR
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The latest lab tests conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rated red tide and toxic algae levels across the Sunshine State at either "not present" to "background" concentrations.

According to the latest data provided by the agency late last week, the WCC tested more than 100 water samples offshore and in bay areas across the Northwest, Southwest and the state's east coast. In August and September, Florida's eastern portion was where red tide levels peaked. The latest results show that levels of Karenia brevis, the organism found in red tide, were under 1,000 cells per liter for the first time since the crisis began in 2017.

The decrease in red tide levels follows an ongoing trend in recent months. Manatee County recently reported only background concentrations found to be between 0 and 1,000 cells per liters. The same goes for Charlotte County; its recent samples show levels with only trace amounts at this point.

Meanwhile, according to a report from AccuWeather, 10,000 redfish are set to be released along the shores of southwestern Florida as part of a repopulation effort by the Coastal Conservation Association Florida, Duke Energy and the WCC. Since July 2018, the outbreaks have killed thousands of small fish, dolphins, groupers, sea turtles and 21-foot whale shark.

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