Saharan Dust could Ramp Up Red Tide off our Coast

by | Jun 22, 2020 | Press

Originally published by NBC-2 News on June 22, 2020

Southwest Florida’s coastline has steered clear from red tide and blue-green algae so far this year.

Plus, for the most part, the Caloosahatchee River is nice and clean without any brown, mucky run-off from Lake Okeechobee water releases.

Some believe our water hasn’t looked this pristine in years.

However, the Saharan dust headed our way this week could help feed red tide. In a Facebook post, Calusa Waterkeeper recently tested reddish patches three miles off of Big Carlos Pass. The test confirmed marine cyanobacteria Trichodesmium, also known as sea sawdust.

Iron is an element of Saharan dust. Iron also promotes blooms of Trichodesmium and these blooms are known to lead up to red tide events, according to Calusa Waterkeeper.

In Florida Fish and Wildlife’s most recent report from June 19, no traces of red tide have been detected off Charlotte, Lee, or Collier counties.

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