In the Gulf of Mexico, some harmful algal blooms (HABs) are caused by the microscopic algae species Karenia brevis, commonly called red tide. These blooms can produce toxic chemicals that affect both marine organisms and humans, creating the potential to kill marine life. In humans, red tide can lead to respiratory illness and eye irritation. Toxins can also accumulate in shellfish tissue and often lead to shellfish bed closures. NOAA issues HAB forecasts to support the decisions of coastal resource managers, public health officials, and research scientists. Forecasts also help beachgoers identify where and when coastal areas may be temporarily affected by a bloom. Visit our harmful algal bloom portal for regional information, links, and resources.
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