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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Red Tide Information

Dept. of Health Environmental Health Office

Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission here for the most up to date information.

Background on Red Tide

Red tides have been documented along Florida's gulf coast since the 1840’s.

  • The Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, produces a toxin that may kill marine animals and affect humans.
  • A red tide bloom is a higher-than-normal concentration of a microscopic alga (plant-like organisms).
It is important to realize that many people still enjoy the beaches during red tides. Respiratory irritation and dead fish are not always present.People may experience respiratory irritation (coughing, sneezing, and tearing) when the red tide organism is present along a coast and winds blow its aerosol onshore.
  • People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions are advised to avoid red tide areas.
  • Generally, symptoms are temporary.
  • Swimming in waters with red tide is safe for most people.
  • However, red tide may cause some people to suffer from skin irritation and burning eyes.
  • If you experience irritation, get out of the water and thoroughly wash.
  • For more information regarding red tide, visit our Links to our Partners 
A Red Tide Rack Card [PDF 2.36MB] with useful facts and tips about red tide is available.

Red Tide Updates

Fish and Wildlife and Mote Marine have come together to create a Facebook page. "Like" their page for updates on their monitoring efforts for red tide and other harmful algal blooms in coastal Florida waters.

Please visit the FWC website for updates on the status of red tide in Florida. 

The latest red tide status reports from the FWC are also available by phone. Call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to hear a recording about red tide conditions throughout the state.

Callers outside of Florida can dial 727-552-2448. Standard calling charges apply.

For daily red tide beach updates visit Mote Marine's beach conditions report.