Researchers continue monitoring for signs of red tide bloom at South Padre Island

2 months 11 hours 39 minutes ago Saturday, September 30 2023 Sep 30, 2023 September 30, 2023 7:31 PM September 30, 2023 in News - Local

An effort to make sure people are trained to help with the next red tide bloom at South Padre Island is underway.

A group of volunteers from all over the Rio Grande Valley participated in a Saturday training to learn about red tide, weeks after it was briefly detected at the island.

RELATED STORY: Red tide bloom briefly detected at South Padre Island

The volunteer group at South Padre Island's coastal studies lab started in the early 1990s.

If red tide emerges again, trained staff with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be assessing the levels, but that staff is limited.

Tony Reisinger with Texas Sea Grant says it'll be important to test as many locations as frequently as possible.

"They take the burden off of Texas Parks and Wildlife,” Reisinger said. 

A red tide bloom is caused by the breakdown of tiny algae which emit a toxin into the air. Those close to the bloom will feel a burning sensation as they breathe.

The last major red tide bloom happened in 2018.

Researchers previously said they found “moderate” concentrations of red tide on Sept. 18, but it's since disappeared.

"Our area is clean," Reisinger said. "We haven't picked up any cells since Sept. 20."

Reisinger says red tide can be patchy and hard to locate, adding that people with asthma need to avoid it, and a face mask can help from breathing it.

It can also be especially harmful to dogs and animals.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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