Red tide dissipates, leaves holiday gift for beach businesses

Many islanders will say these are the best gifts that could arrive to Anna Maria Island: Clear air. Clear water. Little red tide.

The only cluster of Karenia brevis in Manatee County waters was found Dec. 12 in a medium concentration at Palma Sola Bay.

Otherwise, the massive red tide bloom that had hugged the Florida coastline from Marco Island in the south to Pinellas County in the north for more than a year was said to be disappearing.

“The seasonal changes have been helping to clear the red tide,” Jonathan Veach, an information specialist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said in a phone interview Dec. 14 with The Islander.

“Not so much the water temperature, but shifting winds, storms coming through, less nutrients in the water. It’s seasonal changes that are helping the most,” Veach said.

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