Red tide persisting along Southwest Florida coast

Red tide is still plaguing coastal areas in Collier and Lee counties, but the outbreak is patchy and weaker than it was a few weeks ago.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports varying conditions in the region, with counts ranging from natural background levels to 1 million cells per liter and higher.

Respiratory irritation was reported this week in Collier, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties.

"We had respiratory irritation reported at all of our beaches (Tuesday) due to the onshore winds," said Rhonda Watkins, an environmental specialist with Collier County Pollution Control. "(But) there have been no reports of dead fish this week."

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