Originally published by The News-Press on March 17, 2023 by Chad Gillis

The latest red tide to blanket Southwest Florida seems to be losing strength in Lee and Collier counties as higher brevetoxin counts have been reported in the Tampa Bay area in recent days.

Background to medium levels of red tide (Karenia brevis) were reported across both counties to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state agency charged with monitoring the deadly blooms.

“They usually say October, November and December is the season, but now we’re pushing April and I’m wondering how much longer this could persist,” Calusa Waterkeeper Emeritus John Cassani said.

Cold fronts and strong winds can break up red tide blooms, but this past winter has been quite mild, with only a handful of strong cold fronts making it to the region this year.

Red tide is also known for its ghostly ability to be in one location one day and completely gone the next.

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