Vacationers steer clear of beach in Sarasota County

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One of the country’s top-rated beaches has been feeling the effects of red tide all week long.

Since the phenomenon hit Sarasota County earlier this week many tourists, like the Ackers family, are steering clear of the murky shoreline.

"Well, it smells like the Mississippi in flood stage in Illinois, so it's kind of foul and the water isn't very pretty,” Steve Ackers said.

The county has been using mechanical rakes over the last several days to clean up the dead marine life, which includes fish, eels, crabs and more. Friday alone, the county reported nine tons of fish removed from Siesta Key Beach and seven tons from Lido.

Greg Ward, who was born and raised in Lido Key, says something needs to be done.

“It's going to be crippling to our economy when there's so many businesses that depend on the clean water we have here,” Ward said. “There's so many people who, in the long term, are going to be hurt by this."

Right now, it’s hurting the chances at quality beach time.

"We really didn't get to spend much time on the beach, which is kind of depressing, because you know, that's why we came," said Jana Boomershine, who is visiting with her family from Ohio.

The county will continue its clean-up efforts throughout the weekend.

Continuing coverage:

-Demonstrators at Gov. Scott event want action on red tide

-Red tide blamed for deaths as manatees, goliath grouper wash ashore

-Red tide blooms early along southern Bay Area beaches

-Manatee, paralyzed by red tide, rescued in Charlotte Co.

-Red tide creeps north, reaching Longboat Key

-Dead wildlife needs to be reported, or it can worsen red tide, FWC says

-Spike in sea turtle deaths linked to red tide

-Drones used to track red tide along Florida coast

-More videos show dead manatees off Southwest Florida

-Mote scientists track ongoing red tide bloom

-Red tide causing respiratory concerns along Sarasota County beaches