Red tide may close beaches, Padre Island National Seashore issues advisory

(Photo: Padre Island National Seashore)

Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) issued a red tide advisory Thursday.

The red tide advisory came from a PINS Facebook post, and the post said the high winds, heavy rain and higher-than-normal tides in the Gulf of Mexico is speeding up the return of “red tide” to the Texas coast.

Red tide is an algae that is found in the ocean, and at high enough levels, it can cause the surf to appear a dark red or brown color, according to PINS. As the concentrated levels increase, the algae creates toxins that can disturb the waves and become an airborne gas, which can be a hazard to people.

PINS warns people that if the toxins are inhaled, they can cause coughing, sneezing, itchy throat and even severe headaches and asthma attacks in some populations. Swimming in red tide is also harmful, and dog and other pet deaths have occurred in past years from the high levels of water.

"We have been monitoring "red tide" levels in the park since it first appeared in Port Aransas, and it has now reached levels that can negatively impact park visitors," the PINS Facebook post said. "Beach closures may occur, but the park itself will not close."

For more updates on the red tide advisory, visit the PINS Facebook page.