Red Tide Update for Padre Island National Seashore 9/23/2015

By Tyler Thorsen

Corpus Christi, TX -Reported conditions for Red Tide (Karenia brevis), a known harmful algal bloom (HAB), for Texas through Thursday, September 24 confirms dead fish and respiratory irritation from the Port Aransas/Mustang Island to Padre Island National Seashore regions. Water samples have confirmed background (less than 1 cell/ml) to high (> 1,000 cells/ml) concentrations of Red Tide along the coast of Texas from Galveston Bay to the Rio Grande (TPWD; 9/17-9/23). Samples collected along Padre Island have documented an increase in cell concentrations ranging from moderate to high, with the greatest densities observed at the Padre Island National Seashore from Mile marker 0 to mile marker 19. Winds forecasted today through Thursday have the potential to promote high levels of respiratory irritation in from Aransas Bay to the Rio Grande. Concentrations are patchy and discomfort to the eyes, nose, and throat will vary based upon local bloom concentrations, ocean currents, and wind speed and direction. Children, elderly, and individuals with asthma commonly experience elevated sensitivity and should avoid areas causing symptoms. Common symptoms include: coughing, sneezing, tearing, skin irritation, and difficulty breathing among others. Dogs are particularly sensitive to these conditions and may become sick or even require advance veterinary care if they ingest dead fish or lick any part of their body that comes into contact with beach sand or Gulf water.
redtideIf you plan on coming to the seashore please come prepared for the conditions. Bones and spines of dead fish can puncture feet and lead to serious infections. Driving conditions are also difficult; the number of fish on the beach makes this hazard hard to avoid and may leave you stranded with punctured vehicle tires. Caution is advised for persons with respiratory problems, infants, and pets being on the beach at this time. If you start to cough, have a burning sensation in your throat or itchy eye it is recommended that you leave the beach area.

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