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Sarasota Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021 2 weeks ago

No swim advisory posted for Bird Key Park

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Results of follow-up testing expected on Friday.

A no-swim advisory was posted Wednesday morning for Bird Key Park along the Ringling Causeway following water tests that indicated higher than acceptable levels of bacteria.

State Health Department officials said in a press notice that the beach and park remain open, but water recreation there was not recommended.

Signs following the Nov. 22 test results will remain in place until subsequent testing indicates levels of enterococcus have returned to normal. Results of those tests should be available on Friday, the Health Department said.

According to the news release, “enterococcus bacteria can come from a variety of natural and human-made sources. These include pet waste, livestock, birds, land-dwelling and marine wildlife, stormwater runoff, and human sewage from failed septic systems and sewage spills.”

No spills have been reported within one mile of beach in the last weeks.

A team determined the likely source was a wrack line of decaying algae along the shoreline. Wrack lines, which provide food for shorebirds and wildlife, act as natural bacteria reservoirs.

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