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Low levels of red tide detected in waters off Manatee County

Manatee County

Unfortunately, red tide is back in the bay area.

Red tide has been detected in the waters off Manatee County.

So what does that mean for beachgoers? And what about this summer?

Joseph DeFrancesco moved to the Bayshore Gardens neighborhood for the beautiful waterway that leads to the gulf. But recently, he’s barely gotten any use of it because of red tide.

“Never went out in the water for about probably close to four months ‘cuz I didn’t want all the guts and stuff going in through my motor,” said DeFrancesco.

Lately, he’s almost felt like he’s reliving it. The waterway has been inundated with blue-green algae.

“It smells terrible, it smells like rotting stuff, a sewer,” he said.

Then just this week, FWC announced that low concentrations of red tide cells were found in Sarasota Bay, not far from his house.

“Who’s to say- is it man-caused or is it mother nature doing it?” said DeFrancesco.

“I don’t know what its going to do ‘cuz fishing ain’t worth a darn right now you can’t get no bait ‘cuz they can’t survive,” said Holmes Beach resident Harold Leventry.

FWC obtained the water sample from the Coquina South Boat ramp. The sample had very low concentrations of red tide cells.

Mote Marine scientists say this is no cause for alarm. It does not mean that we’re going to see this in a few months. Red tide is naturally found in our waters.

An official points out that since the recent outbreak, more samples and more research is being done on red tide than at any point in recent memory.

There are no reports of fish kills or respiratory issues and scientists will continue monitoring it.

Many are hoping to put the past far behind them.

“Life goes on,” said DeFrancesco.

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