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Red tide present in the Gulf, tests show

County health officials discovered elevated levels of red tide this week at Lido Key, Longboat and other area beaches.


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  • | 4:00 p.m. October 1, 2021
  • Sarasota
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After a brief respite in September, water quality tests are once again showing elevated levels of red tide at several area beaches, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County announced Wednesday.

According to testing from Monday, beaches with elevated red tide levels include Lido Key, Longboat Key and Bird Key Park. The health department has posted signage at affected beaches alerting the public about the presence of red tide.

Siesta Key Beach and Turtle Beach were the only two Sarasota beaches that did not show elevated red tide levels, the health department said Wednesday.

The health department advised the public not to swim around dead fish and to consider avoiding the beach if they have chronic respiratory problems. People should not eat mollusk shellfish and dead or distressed fish from affected beaches. Pet owners should keep animals away from the water and dead sea life. Potential effects of red tide include respiratory irritation. Those symptoms usually subside when a person leaves the beach or goes inside, the health department said in a release.

For more information and regular updates, visit the Observer’s red tide status page.