Mote Marine officials are reporting elevated levels of red tide in Sarasota County. That’s bad news to some beach businesses.
Right now, tourists are flocking to Sarasota, which is recognized as one of the best beach towns in America.
But Mote Marine scientists say an annoying nuisance is looming just beyond the shore… red tide. Todd Piper from Siesta Sports Rentals already noticed it.
“I could feel a little tickle in the throat, a little cough, and that’s kind of the first signal that it is airborne and around,” said Piper.
Officials are reporting background to medium levels of red tide. In layman’s terms, that means Siesta Key tourists could suffer respiratory problems or see fish kills.
“It can ruin a good day out here for the water sports,” said Piper.
Piper experiences a drop in revenue when red tide appears.
“People who don’t know what it is immediately are intimidated by the sound of it,” said Piper. “[They wonder] if it’s this red water that will just surround them while they’re out there.”
Beach goers are not fans of red tide.
“I don’t like it at all,” said John Gall, a tourist from Charlottesville, Virginia.
Gall visits Siesta Key every year and he always researches the red tide reports. He says the algae is a nuisance, but it doesn’t ruin his trip.
“It’s such a beautiful place, don’t worry about it,” he said. “If its bothering you on the beach, just get off the beach, and just get away from it a bit, and you can go down a mile and there’s no problem.”
Officials say it is safe to swim. If you have respiratory problems like asthma or COPD, it may be best to be cautious or stay away from the beach.
If you’d like to stay updated on the latest conditions, use the Beach Conditions Report provided by Mote Marine Laboratory.