FWC: Collier and Lee Counties are clear of red tide

Dozens of people are spending their Christmas Eve on Naples Beach. We have good news for everyone who is visiting the beach: Collier County is now clear of red tide.

That means, no dead fish.

“It’s been horrible,” Laura Usas said, a visitor.

Usas said the months of dead fish in Southwest Florida over the summer took a toll on her.

“My eyes were getting yucky and itchy and watery,” Usas said. “I had to go to the doctor and get some antibiotics to help clear it up.”

But, with the recent announcement of red tide finally gone, some are ecstatic for the excellent timing.

“Best Christmas present ever,” Jennifer Fine said, a Naples resident.

Portions of an FWC red tide map that shows Collier and Lee Counties are clear. Photo via WINK News.
Portions of an FWC red tide map that shows Collier and Lee Counties are clear. Photo via WINK News.

On this map from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the coast is clear in both Collier and Lee Counties.

“I would be very sad,” Fine said if the red tide had not been cleared. “My parents have been telling me about it. They haven’t been able to come to the beach for a long time, so we’re very happy that it’s all gone.”

Fine said dead fish littered the beaches. Her holiday plans would have been ruined.

“We’ve been coming down to Naples since about 2001 every year for Christmas,” Fine said. “Our tradition in the family is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the beach because there’s nothing better when you’re from the north.”

But Christopher Catanzano, who is visiting from Massachusetts, said he is just happy to be away from the snow.

“If there were sholes of fish, it would be bothersome and smelly, but for the most part we just deal with life as it comes,” Catanzano said. “I don’t think it would be ruined. We’d find other things to do.”

Reporter:Hannah Vogel
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