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Increased Red Tide levels detected off Ringling Causeway

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  • | 5:00 a.m. November 8, 2012
  • Sarasota
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On the southwest coast of Florida, a patchy bloom of Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, continues alongshore.

From Manatee through mid Sarasota County, the red tide organism was detected in very low to high concentrations, with the highest concentrations detected at Ringling Causeway on Monday, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The water samples showed a marked increase at Bird Key park, just wet of the Ringling Causeway.

Local health officials have placed signage in the area advising the public that red tide is present.

"We are fortunate that red tide has remained at low levels at other area Gulf beaches. People with asthma or chronic respiratory impairments may experience heightened symptoms associated with red tide when winds are blowing onshore, especially in the area around the Ringling Causeway," said Sarasota County Health Department Environmental Administrator Tom Higginbotham.

Since Bird Key Park is a dog-beach, county health officials also are advising pet owners about the risks red tide poses to animals brought to the beach. Like people, pets can experience respiratory irritation from airborne red tide toxins and can become sick from ingesting them. When walking dogs along the shore, pet owners should not allow the dogs to play with any dead fish or foam that may accumulate during or after a red tide. If the pet swims in an area with red tide, wash it as soon as possible. Most dogs lick themselves after swimming, and will consume any toxins on their fur.

Beachgoers are encouraged to check the Mote Beach Conditions Report before they go to the beach because conditions can change daily. The Mote Marine Laboratory's Beach Conditions Report can be viewed online at



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