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NOAA releases red tide alert

After several years of reprieve, Sarasota County experiences a red tide bloom on its beaches.

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  • | 2:37 p.m. October 14, 2015
  • Sarasota
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an alert Tuesday, Oct. 13 to notify beachgoers of the presence of red tide on area beaches.

The alert is current through the evening of Thursday, Oct. 15. Hazards include respiratory irritation, coughing, sneezing, especially for people other respiratory conditions like asthma.

Mike Gregory, Sarasota County Beach Patrol Lieutenant, said red tide had been around since Oct. 12, but effects had been minor. He said the effects may be more or less noticeable depending on the wind direction and surf height.

Some lifeguard personnel found dead fish, possibly associated with the latest bloom, on Lido and Siesta keys Monday. Gregory said he wasn’t aware of any fish kills reported on south county beaches.

“Whatever’s out there right now,” he said, “it’s very slight.”

Samples collected between Oct. 7 and 13 show “medium” concentrations of Karenia brevis, the algae that causes red tide, off Sarasota County beaches, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Medium concentrations indicate between 100,000 and 1,000,000 k brevis cells per liter of water. High concentrations indicate more than 1,000,000 cells/liter.

NOAA advised people to consider moving to an unaffected beach nearby if they experience symptoms.



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