As monitoring continues to show improvement in this most recent bout with red tide, marine debris cleanup has begun in city of Sarasota parks and rights of way. Special garbage collections are also now available for city residents removing dead fish from private property.
Red tide conditions continue to fluctuate day-to-day and by location with the occasional strong presence of aerosols. Ceres Environmental Services, a debris management company contracted by the city, has and will continue to remove dead fish from:
Bird Key Park
Centennial Park/10th Street Boat Ramp
Ernest “Doc” and Eloise Werlin Park
Indian Beach Park
Ken Thompson (boat ramp, fishing piers, playground area)
Nora Patterson Bay Island Park North Park
Sapphire Shores Park
Tony Saprito Fishing Pier
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Whitaker Gateway Park
City residents are asked to double-bag collected marine debris and call the Solid Waste Division in advance at 941-263-6170 for a special Wednesday or Saturday courtesy pickups.
Crews have been working to clear the debris by hand along the shoreline and by boat in some waterways.
Lido Beach is maintained by Sarasota County. As part of regular beach maintenance operations, Sarasota County Parks Recreation and Natural Resources staff perform weekly beach raking at Siesta Beach on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays; and Lido Beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year.
As of March 14, the county’s regular morning monitoring showed improvements throughout Sarasota County, with Lido Key experiencing the greatest impact.
On Monday and Tuesday, routine mechanical beach raking occurred on Siesta Beach. Because of equipment issues, Tuesday’s regular raking operations were shifted from Lido Key to Siesta Beach. Raking on Lido was planned for Wednesday, and the regular beach maintenance schedule was set to resume Thursday.
The mechanical beach raking is part of the county’s regular beach operations and maintenance. As of Tuesday, the special red tide dead fish clearing policy threshold had not yet been met.
Andrew Warfield is the Sarasota Observer city reporter. He is a four-decade veteran of print media. A Florida native, he has spent most of his career in the Carolinas as a writer and editor, nearly a decade as co-founder and editor of a community newspaper in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.