Red Alert

How Bad Is Red Tide at Our Beaches?

The latest red tide reports might affect your weekend beach plans. Here's where it's safe to swim.

By Isaac Eger January 6, 2023


Image: Gigi Ortwein

We wish we had only good news to report, but it looks like this weekend’s forecast has some red tide in store.

While the holidays gave us a break from red tide, the recent warm weather may have brought the harmful algal bloom back to our beaches. Reports of dead fish and malodorous winds have been reported in many spots along the coast of Southwest Florida.

Several weeks ago, it was Pinellas County’s beaches that suffered a high presence of red tide, but that algae patch has drifted south and is now affecting Manatee County’s coast. Lifeguards at Coquina Beach and Manatee Public Beach reported slight to intense levels of respiratory irritation. Some irritation and dead fish were also reported near the northern end of Anna Maria Island.

It’s not all bad news, especially for those visiting Sarasota County’s beaches. According to the latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports, low to zero red tide was present between Longboat Key Beach and the South Venice Beach Boat Ramp, so don’t cancel your weekend beach plans just yet.

Further south, at Manasota Beach, medium levels of red tide were present.

Keep up to date with the latest red tide reports at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website and the Mote Marine site.

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