Is red tide still impacting beaches in Sarasota, Manatee?
Beachgoers in Sarasota and Manatee counties have enjoyed a reprieve from red tide in recent weeks, but a new advisory indicates that red tide could still impact local beaches.
The Florida Department of Health and Human Services in Sarasota County issued an advisory that elevated levels of red tide has been detected once again near popular tourism hotspots, including Bird Key, the Ringling Causeway, North Lido, Lido Casino, South Lido, and Siesta Key beaches.
Previously: Critical weeks ahead for red tide as tourist season in Sarasota and Manatee heats up
Red tide: Even with persistent red tide, Sarasota waterfront business is booming
Red tide clears up, sort of
A massive red tide bloom has lingered just offshore from much of Southwest Florida since late October. Conditions began to show significant signs of significant improvement offshore from Sarasota and Manatee about two weeks ago.
But the DOH-Sarasota advisory and a limited amount of samples published by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner this week show that red tide could be creeping back into local waters.
The most recent samples published by FWC show that medium levels of red tide were found off the coast from Anna Maria Island in Manatee County, and low levels were found near some Sarasota beaches on Monday.
Local beach conditions: Mote Marine beach conditions report
Respiratory irritation forecast: www.redtideforecast.com
The department cautioned that visitors could experience "short-lived" respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation. Some individuals with breathing problems, such as asthma, might experience more severe effects. The department also cautions the public not to swim around dead fish.
There is a moderate risk of respiratory irritation in Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Pinellas counties over the course of 36 hours, according to a forecast by the National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science issued Thursday at 9 a.m. Red tide is also present at concentrations high enough to affect Sarasota and Collier counties.
Visit www.redtideforecast.com for the most up-to-date forecast information for local beaches. Forecasts for this weekend are not yet available. Current beach condition updates are also available at www.visitbeaches.org.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota, Manatee red tide conditions could be affected by storms