Sanibel Sea School
The Sanibel Sea School
Sanibel Sea School Beach Report
Good news for beachgoers in Sanibel and Captiva Islands—the recent red tide episode seems to be on its way out. Red tide is a phenomenon caused by particularly high concentrations of a microscopic phytoplankton called Karenia brevis, which when agitated release toxins that can be harmful or fatal to sea creatures and, when airborne, can cause beachgoers to cough. With a change in winds and ocean conditions, the bloom of K. brevis no longer seems to be affecting the coastlines of Sanibel and Captiva. However, concerned or curious beachgoers are encouraged to visit the beach conditions website, hosted by Mote Marine lab in Sarasota, which uses data provided by START (Solutions to Avoid Red Tide) to appraise the public about current conditions on specific beaches. The information can be found at www.mote.org/beaches.
If you are at the Gulf, be on the lookout for snake-like coils on the beach—these are the egg cases of the lightning whelk, a marine gastropod snail that is currently at the shoreline in droves. If you find a dried egg case on the beach, shake it: you may see the tiny protoconch shells that are the beginning life stage of lightning whelks. The egg cases of other marine gastropods can also be found on the beach, such as the round cases made up of tulip-shaped cones that belong to the tulip snail. Also be on the lookout for mermaid’s purses, the flat black egg case of skates and some sharks. Temperature in the Gulf and San Carlos Bay may be a little chilly, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying a swim or paddle!
If you have any questions about red tide, beach conditions, or anything marine-related, don’t hesitate to ask Sanibel Sea School either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 239-472-8585.
Check us out at our Website!