SARASOTA, Fla. - Sarasota County officials are warning beachgoers to stay out of the water at several beaches as no-swim advisories have been put in place.
As of Friday morning, the Sarasota County Health Department has listed no swim advisories for eight beaches: Longboat Key, Bird Key Park and John Ringling Causeway Park, Turtle Beach, Nokomis Beach, Brohard Beach, Casperson Beach, Manasota Ley and the Blind Pass Beaches.
Officials stated they’ve detected significant levels of bacteria in the water at all eight locations that could make people sick. They’ve said the high bacteria levels are likely due to the line of decaying algae and dead and decaying fish due to red tide in the area.
According to FWC, both high and medium levels of red tide are still being detected up and down the Sarasota coastline.
This week, the county announced they would begin cleaning dead fish off of their beaches after finally getting approval from the DEP to bring in machines to help with the cleanup.
Sarasota officials said that compared to 2018, this year’s red tide impacts are less severe. However, they’re still keeping an eye on it.
As long as this no swim advisory is in place, officials are encouraging residents to stay out of the water and not to eat any fish or shellfish.
Officials plan to recheck bacteria levels on Friday. If they find that the levels are safe, they will lift the no swim advisory. However, they will still be cleaning dead fish off the beaches this weekend, and they encourage beachgoers to check red tide maps before heading out.
Use the following links to track red tide conditions and to read detailed updates about respiratory issues and fish kills: