SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A red tide advisory was issued for all 16 Sarasota area beaches after elevated levels of red tide were detected.
The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County announced the advisories Thursday after Monday’s beach water samples found “elevated counts of red tide.” In response, DOH-Sarasota posted signage at all 16 Sarasota County beaches to advise that red tide is present.
The beaches with elevated levels of red tide include:
- Longboat Key
- Bird Key Park/Ringling Causeway
- North Lido
- Lido Casino
- South Lido
- Siesta Key
- Turtle Beach
- Nokomis Beach
- North Jetty
- Venice Beach
- Service Club
- Venice Fishing Pier
- Brohard Beach
- Caspersen Beach
- Manasota Key
- Blind Pass
According to News Channel 8 Meteorologist Amanda Holly, light onshore winds following Tropical Storm Nicole may bring red tide water on shore.
“We could see some respiratory irritation through Saturday with a light onshore wind,” Holly said. “It really helps to bring a red tide smell. It can cause irritation if you’re affected by it.”
Some people may experience mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation like those associated with the common cold or seasonal sinus allergies, the DOH said.
Some individuals with existing breathing problems, such as asthma, might experience more severe effects.
Health officials recommend people who are sensitive to red tide or are experiencing symptoms avoid the beach or go into an air-conditioned space.
The department makes the following recommendations:
- Do not swim around dead fish.
- If you have chronic respiratory problems, consider staying away from the beach as red tide can affect your breathing.
- Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
- Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam, and dead sea life.
- Residents living in beach areas who experience respiratory symptoms are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (ensuring that the A/C filter is maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications).
- If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.
Florida Poison Control Centers have a toll-free 24/7 Hotline for reporting illnesses, including health effects from exposure to red tide at 1-888-222-1222.