LEE COUNTY, Fla -- We're still feeling the effects of toxic red tide. Cold weather can slow the growth of the algae, and even kill it. So, with our recent cold snap, we wanted to know, what happens with the red tide?
As tourists watch the waves for dolphins, they're also watching where they step and swim.
"My little niece over here is from Wisconsin she had a more severe reaction, all over her back and on her face and the question of red tide came up," said Heather Paz, visiting from Peru.
Over at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, many seabirds continue to need help.
"They started out coming mostly from Ft. Myers Beach and the Bonita area but in the past week or so we're starting to see a lot more birds come from Sanibel and Captiva beaches," said CROW Executive Director Steve Greenstein
Over the past month, CROW has seen about 30 seabirds sickened after eating affected fish. And the toxins are not expected to clear up anytime soon.
According to an expert with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, our recent cold, windy weather has dropped the cell counts of red tide per liter - down to 500-thousand from a million.
But it's still at harmful levels.
A potentially negative side to this, we're told, is the wind, which spreads the cells around and can cause even more animals to die.
"They come in here what we call "downed" they can't stand up they cant raise their heads, they cant eat they cant function they cant blink. so basically we just kind of scoop them up more than anything more than rescue them," said Greenstein.
We are supposed to get a warm up later this week, so could mean the toxic algae, will not go anywhere fast.
CROW released half a dozen seabirds back into the wild this morning, after they recovered. They have a team working around the clock to save as many animals as they can.