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Red Tide Drifting Northward In Gulf

 Map of red tide
Map of red tide

A report issued Friday by state environmental officials shows high concentrations of the organism that causes red tide were found this week off Clearwater Beach and Anclote Key in Pinellas and Pasco counties.

Medium concentrations were found offshore of Pine Island in Hernando County; and in Pinellas at Three Rooker Island near Tarpon Springs, Honeymoon Island, Clearwater Pass, Indian Rocks Beach, Madeira Beach, Redington Beach, and John's Pass.

No measurable concentrations were found in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Over the past week, red tide was detected in three samples offshore of Hernando County; five offshore of Pasco County; and 16 offshore of Pinellas County.

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