Two red tide blooms were confirmed along Florida's Gulf coast. Red tide, or algal bloom is a naturally occurring, higher than normal concentration of a microscopic algae.
The species that causes common red tides in Florida is Karenia brevis. High concentrations of such algae may discolor the water, sometimes red, green, brown or the water may appear clear.
The microscopic algae produces toxins that can affect the central nervous system of fish and marine mammals. The toxins can also cause respiratory irritation in people onshore or those who eat contaminated shell fish.
"The bloom off southwest Florida has been patchy and less problematic than the bloom off the Panhandle, which has experienced more fish kills and respiratory irritations," said Corcoran.