To ensure the safety and satisfaction of our guests, Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has been working closely with Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and testing Gulf water at our four resort properties for Red Tide for the past couple of months.
We have seen a steady decline in levels of Red Tide (Karenia) concentration over the last week. Just a couple of weeks ago, water tests were reporting an ebb and flow of cell counts, in the millions at some locations. However in recent days, the change in winds has helped shift surface currents to drift offshore. According to Dr. Rick Bartleson, Research Scientist at the Marine Lab of Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, this wind direction — combined with hydrogen sulfide bubbling up and iron being complexed into Iron Sulfide precipitate — has killed the Red Tide cells, resulting in an exciting report on Thursday, October 4, of ZERO cell counts of Red Tide at all four of our beach resort locations. Dr. Bartleson believes that this is a large-scale event, enough that the Red Tide bloom that has been affecting us since October 2017 may officially be dead in our area, hopefully not to return any time soon.
As Dr. Bartleson explains, the oxygen level of the water and Red Tide does not affect the safety of the water to swim, with our Gulf of Mexico waters are already presenting more pleasant in color and odor in areas. Although various regions of the our islands coast do have dark or brown water, which may be caused by remnants of the Red Tide dying or the dissolving of organic matter, Dr. Bartleson advises that this should quickly settle or “sediment out” and we’ll begin seeing clearer water everywhere.
It’s a great day for all of us, unless as Dr. Bartleson says, “you’re red tide.” Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts continue to work with and advocate for clean water and clean water solutions for all of Florida, particularly Southwest Florida, and we encourage you to join us by contacting your representatives via our website here.