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A viral social media post sparking conversation about red tide in Southwest Florida


SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — The Tampa Bay area is dealing with a red tide outbreak, but none of the effects have seeped into Southwest Florida.

Tammy Kurdyla has owned a home in Cape Coral for five years and knows all too well about red tide. She hasn’t noticed any signs of red tide.

“We went up to Cayo Costa and there was no red tide up there.”

She said she passed Sanibel and Captiva. She didn’t see red tide.

Kurdyla commented on a social media post of videos of Sanibel recently. She saw baby stingrays swarming around her.

Stingray on Sanibel

A very different picture from 2018 when fish lined Sanibel.

This time, not one dead fish in sight.

“When we were out recently, we saw all the baby stingrays. We saw the manatee pods. We saw dolphins,” she said. “It’s amazing.”

She noticed that when Lake Okeechobee is released, red tide pops up. Kurdyla thinks the Army Corps of Engineers needs to do more.

“I understand the plight between sending the water down through Big Sugar. If it is contaminated, you really can’t send it there because it is something we can ingest. We are caught between a rock and a hard place, but someone needs to figure it out.”

She feels they should create a dam that can house the water, but killing wildlife isn’t the answer.

“Every year causing red tide or for algae blooms to happen and killing all the sea animals is not the answer.”

Kurdyla assures people who want to visit that the water is clean and the beaches are gorgeous.

There are many ways to know if any red tide blooms have popped up.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation have created an interactive map.

Currently, the map shows no presence of red tide from Cape Coral to Naples. There is a low presence of red tide from Englewood Beach and Mondongo Island.

You can also check the Mote Marine Laboratory map that shows if there are active red tide blooms.

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