Studying How Highest Levels of Red Tide Affect People Along SWFL Coast

by | Jan 1, 2021 | Press

Originally published by WINK News on January 1, 2021

A recent map shows the highest levels of red tide along Southwest Florida’s coast. But more research needs to be done to know just how it affects air quality and humans.

The last month of 2020 saw dead fish and high levels of red tide sprinkled across SWFL beaches.

Pilot Ralph Arwood with Lighthawk Conservation Flying shared a video he shot on New Year’s Eve of dozens of dead fish on the Naples shore.

“You knew with that out there, the fish just couldn’t get away from it, so it really wasn’t a surprise that they’ve started to wash in,” Arwood said.

While red tide is a nearly annual event, we still need more observation to know how toxins in the air affect humans.

Mike Parsons is a Marine Science professor at FGCU’s Water School. “We did put out one of our air sampling units at the Vester Field Station,” said Parsons.

Parsons and his team have installed a red tide sampler at their Bonita site. “It will be probably closest to red tide since it’s on the backside of Bonita Beach,” Parsons said.

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