Beachgoers woke up to a marine tragedy when sea turtles and dead fish were found on the coast of Marco Island early Wednesday. Red tide in Florida is making a comeback & high levels have been issued around Manatee and Sarasota counties, and now in Marco Island.
Collier County just released a report stating "dead fish and respiratory irritation are being reported on Keewaydin Island, Marco Island beaches and back bays around Marco Island and Isles of Capri."
There were also dead fish found in South Beach which could be linked to Red Tide. At the moment, the results from Naples Beach have not been received and there were no sights of red ride on Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation's red tide map.
Red tide is also known as a harmful algal bloom which can cause respiratory problems and it is recommended that people with asthma or emphysema especially avoid going to the beach.
FCW's forecast indicates that "Respiratory irritation is possible at beaches between Bonita Beach and Cape Romano through Thursday, October 10th."
After fading away earlier this year, red tide seems to be appearing in higher levels on Florida's southwest coast. According to ABC News, during the 15-month bloom, the red tide caused respiratory irritation in people. It was also harming pets, which you can read about here.
According to Marco News, a big sea turtle was found dead Wednesday morning on Big Marco Pass by Collier County Turtle patrol. The turtles are marked with paint so they do not recount them.
While this is tragic, it's not the first time humans have been exposed to illness-causing pathogens at Florida beaches. This serves as a good reminder to check the water quality before visiting any bodies of water in the Sunshine State.