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Red Tide Blooms Causing Fish Kills In Sarasota, Charlotte Counties

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Red tide blooms have been reported in Sarasota and Charlotte counties this past week. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a Friday afternoon update that multiple fish kills in both counties are likely related to the toxic algae.

Manatee County does not have a recorded bloom, but low concentrations of the red tide organism Karenia brevis were observed there. Respiratory irritations were also reported in Manatee and Sarasota.

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the red tide conditions in lower Tampa Bay, west of the Manatee River, are not thought to be a direct result of the Piney Point wastewater discharges.

"However, elevated nutrients have the potential to exacerbate these algal blooms, and increased sampling is ongoing," the DEP said in its Friday Piney Point update.

Collier and Lee counties are continuing to experience low concentrations of red tide, as well.

The FWC's next complete status report will be issued on April 30. Until then, you can check out the agency's daily sampling map here.

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Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of Morning Edition at WUSF Public Media, and former reporter and host of All Things Considered for WGCU News.