Red Tide Still in Area Waters

Biologists say lower temperatures can slow the growth of Red Tide.

Red Tide, which is toxic to many species of marine life, causes respiratory problems including runny nose, itchy eyes and a sometimes severe cough in humans.

Andrew David is a research and fishery biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries office near Bay Point. He says the theory is that colder temperatures could push the organism out of the area soon.

Biologists say a bloom began in January off St. Petersburg and has spread from there along the coast, reaching the Panhandle shortly after Hurricane Katrina crossed the Gulf.

A recent report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows patchy red tide from Escambia County east to Wakulla County with the highest Panhandle concentrations recorded in St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County.

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