An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Recent cold fronts were good news for Tampa Bay’s red tide situation. At least for now.

As the head of Florida’s red tide research center said: Conditions have improved, but “there’s still red tide around.”

ST. PETERSBURG — Under Karen Henschen’s microscope, a single drop of ocean water comes to life.

Popcorn-colored cells float around like butterflies. They dart, then pause, then dart again. An entire world teems with motion in an amount of water that would barely cover the face of a penny.

“What we’re looking at here are Karenia brevis cells, which are what cause Florida’s red tide,” said Henschen, a research associate at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. “They’re beautiful, they’re healthy and they’re eating well. In short, they’re surviving.”

That may be good news for the algae species, but not for humans.