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Outbreaks of red tide are spreading along Gulf beaches

 Map of red tide
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Map of red tide

State environmental regulators on Friday reported that high concentrations of red tide are persisting off Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The highest levels of red tide were found this week at Redington Beach, Madeira Beach, John's Pass and St. Pete Beach in Pinellas, according to the weekly report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In Manatee, high levels were found at Bradenton Beach. In Sarasota County, the worst stretches were along Caspersen Beach, Manasota Beach, Blind Pass Beach and Englewood Beach.

Medium concentrations of red tide were found in Pinellas at Clearwater Beach, Pass-a-Grille and the south end of Fort DeSoto.

Beaches to the south with medium concentrations are Bradenton Beach, Longboat Key, New Pass, South Lido Park, Nokomis Beach and South Venice.

Red Tide is also drifting north in the Gulf, from Levy and Dixie counties to Franklin County, near Apalachicola.

Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported off Citrus, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties over the past week. Respiratory irritation was reported in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

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Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.