Tannin-stained waters are blasting out of some Southwest Florida passes as rain water continues to wash off the watershed and into the Gulf of Mexico.
Water quality scientists and others worry nutrients in that water could eventually feed a red tide bloom that’s already on the horizon.
“The volume of water and the amount of nitrogen that’s being delivered to the nearshore Gulf is an issue,” said Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani. “We’re starting to see background levels of Karenia (red tide), so the timing is really bad. Enriching nutrients for the nearshore water, it couldn’t happen at a worse time as we’re heading into the red tide season.”