SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — When you hear the word algae, it might freak you out.

Don’t worry, the brown algae reported in Casey Key in Sarasota is not toxic like the red tide bloom that devastated Florida’s Gulf Coast last summer.

University of Florida Sarasota-Manatee professor Brett Blackburn says while it looks bad and even smells bad, it’s not a health threat.

“When everybody hears algae now, everybody thinks back to red tide and others. And it’s not. This is a macro-algae as opposed to a micro-algae. It really doesn’t cause that much of a problem other than it just doesn’t smell good,” Blackburn said.

The brown algae was pushed to the beach by winds from the west.

A patch of brown algae was spotted two days ago at Nokomis Beach. It's not uncommon to see more mats of it 20 to 30 miles offshore.

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