Today I’d like to discuss a topic that’s become quite heated in our area: the red tide.
The red tide is a naturally occurring bloom of algae formerly known as Karenia brevis, a kind of dinoflagellate that is common to the Gulf region.
Red tides typically form about 20 to 30 miles out in the open ocean, then creep their way to the mainland. In order for the red tide to form, three conditions are required:
1. Biology. The K. brevis organism itself must be present.
2. Chemistry. The nutrients that sustain the dinoflagellate must be present to trigger an algal bloom.
3. Physical conditions. The bloom occurs when temperatures are warm enough and when the salinity (salt content) of the water is just right. When the conditions are right, the algae will rapidly reproduce and ‘bloom’ into a reddish-brown mass of color.
Red tides produce pretty potent toxins called brevetoxins that, when released, affects the central nervous systems of the wildlife that consume it or come into contact with it. Additionally, when the tide is brought to shore on the backs of breaker waves, the resulting spray can cause respiratory irritation in humans.
If you’ve ever been to the beach here in Southwest Florida during red tide, you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to.
Here are couple common questions we hear about the red tide:
- “Can you swim in the water during red tide?”
2. “Is it safe to eat the awesome, local seafood here?”
Thankfully, the answer to both of these questions is yes.
This year, the red tide was particularly bad; there’s been some conversation about whether or not man-made pollutants have been affecting the severity and frequency of red tides. The Florida Fish and Wildlife just published a report saying that there is no direct link between the two; they did, however, go on to admit that if the red tide is present along with the pollutants, the organisms can feed on the pollutants.
As of right now, red tide is almost non existent. Recent water tests even show that there are zero levels of red tide currently in our waters.
With that encouraging fact, feel free to come on down to Florida! The water and weather are awesome.
I hope that this helped clear up any questions you had. If you have further questions about how the red tide affects the real estate market in Southwest Florida, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.