Red tide was detected at levels described as “very low” on Longboat Key earlier this week, according to the Sarasota County Health Department Healthy Beaches Program.
Samples taken Monday, Oct. 8 revealed concentrations of Karenia brevis, the organism that causes red tide, at concentration of 5 cells per millimeter. Concentrations at these levels could cause possible respiratory irritation and shellfish harvesting closures.
Beaches in south Sarasota County have experienced the bulk of the current red tide outbreak, with K. brevis concentrations detected at 10,240 cells per milligram on Manasota Beach.
The Health Department working jointly with Mote Marine Laboratory conducts weekly red tide cell counts. Sampling typically takes place on Mondays, and results are usually available Wednesdays.
For more information, pick up an Oct. 18 copy of the Longboat Observer.
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