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Red tide levels increasing on area beaches

5:53 PM, Jan 17, 2013   |    comments
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Sarasota, Florida -- It's something beachgoers and business owners both hate to see. Recent water samples show increasing levels of red tide on several area beaches including Siesta Beach, Nokomis Beach, and Venice Beach.

Photo Gallery: Dead fish liter Turtle Beach

Sarasota County lifeguards are reporting some respiratory irritation from the airborne red tide toxins and some dead fish are also washing ashore. People with respiratory problems should not go to beaches experiencing red tide and pets should be kept out of the water as well.

On Thursday, county officials partnered up with the Sarasota Sheriff's Offender Work Program and sent non-violent offenders to Caspersen Beach in Venice to remove dead fish that have washed ashore. Cleanup efforts were also scheduled today for Manasota Beach, Blind Pass Beach, Venice Beach and others. 

The county says the dead fish started washing ashore earlier this week and staff members, along with lifeguards and parks and recreation employees, will continue to monitor all public beaches for red tide impacts.

Beach conditions can change daily, so to find out what beach is red tide free, you can consult Mote Marine Laboratory's Beach Conditions Report. You can all call 941-BEACHES (232-2437) and press 1 for Sarasota beaches.

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