Current reports indicate low to medium concentrations of red tide in Lee County. According to the Florida Department of Health, there are no beach advisories at this time. We will continue to monitor conditions and recommend that you use the following resources when planning your next visit.
Key to Red Tide Levels - Provided by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The most recent Red Tide Report can be seen by clicking this link.
See a map with current beach conditions by clicking here.
See a map where water quality samples were taken by clicking here. TIP: Click on a specific point on the map to see date the sample was taken.
What is it?
A red tide is a higher-than-normal concentration of plant-like organisms. In Florida, the species that causes most red tides is Karenia brevis. This organism produces a toxin that can affect the central nervous system of fish.
Is it safe to swim during a red tide?
Yes, for most people. However, for some people red tide can cause skin irritation and burning eyes. If you are particularly susceptible to irritation from plant products, avoid red tide waters. If you experience irritation, get out and thoroughly wash off.
Can red tide cause respiratory irritation?
People can experience respiratory irritation (coughing, sneezing and tearing) when red tide is present. People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions (such as bronchitis, emphysema or asthma) are cautioned to avoid red tide areas.
Generally, symptoms are temporary and disappear within hours (once exposure is discontinued).
The following beach cams offer real-time views of our beaches, complimentary of our partners.
|Fort Myers Beach|
What is it?
Red Drift Algae is a species of algae that can be seen with the naked eye and resembles red seaweed. This algae is not harmful and non-toxic. These species, which vary in color and can be red, brown, green or white, occur naturally in the environment and can sometimes detach from the bottom of the sea floor and wash up along area beaches. It can have an unpleasant smell as it dries out on the sand.
Where is it?
It is most notably seen washed up on area beaches in the wrack line. “Wrack” is the term for seaweed, sea grass, driftwood, and other organic materials that wash ashore on the beach. At certain times of the year we may have an abundance of red drift on our beaches while at other times we may have little to none.
Why is it important?
Many of our local and migratory shorebirds feast on invertebrates and small crustaceans in the abundant wrack on our beaches, including the red drift algae. This organic matter is essential to the beach ecosystem. It is for this very reason why our beaches are not regularly groomed.
Florida Healthy Beaches Program (Florida Department of Health)- Map with beach samples & advisory status
Current Beach Conditions (MOTE Marine Laboratory)- Map with beach conditions from select beaches in Southwest Florida
Red Tide Current Sampling Map- Updated bi-weekly by The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commissions (FWC)
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF)- A local foundation dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel and Captiva islands and in the surrounding watershed.
Algal Bloom Sampling Status- Interactive dashboard allows public to see where algal blooms were occurring in Florida. It features real-time updates, photos and information. Users can search by specific address, ZIP code, city or place. The tool includes quick links to other resources such as public health information.
Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS)- This is an experimental forecast of potential respiratory irritation that may occur because of airborne toxins produced by the red tide organism Karenia brevis. It indicates a greater or lesser likelihood of negative conditions based on predicted wind and ocean currents. Please NOTE: This experimental forecast is currently being tested for efficacy and is not yet an official forecast. Daily availability of the product cannot be assured.
What to do this week
To get you started, here’s a guide to what to do the week of Dec. 9-15, 2019.
Click here for a list of museums, historic sites, tours, live theaters, shopping and more that can make your day away from the beach a fun one.
Enjoy our many craft breweries and distilleries as another way to learn about local products made in Southwest Florida.
Learn about our various farmers markets here.
Check out recent photos from our visitors below.