ENGLEWOOD — While not completely free of the lingering presence of the red tide algae, the air on Manasota Key and other area barrier islands remains relatively fresh.
That’s not the story north of Manasota Key.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission posts on myfwc.com the results of water samples taken in the last eight days.
Those samples from Englewood and Blind Pass beaches a week ago Wednesday showed low concentrations. But north of Blind Pass Beach the concentrations thickened with medium concentrations, taken from the Manasota Beach and Caspersen Beach a week ago.
Better news is the daily Mote Marine Laboratory daily beach reports on visitbeaches.org show no one reporting scratchy throat irritations — a common sign of red tide toxins in the air — on Manasota Beach Monday.
Sadly, not so good news for other Sarasota County beaches. From the Venice Fishing Pier north, water samples turned up medium concentrations of red tide.
A week ago, Florida Department of Health officials in Sarasota County issued cautionary warnings.
“Some people may have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation like those associated with the common cold or seasonal sinus allergies,” health officials cautioned. “Some people with existing breathing problems such as asthma might experience more severe effects.”
Mote reported Monday morning how Venice Beach beachgoers were not only experiencing itchy throats but were also reporting “some” dead fish in the water and washing up onshore.
Venice wasn’t alone. Dead fish washed up on Siesta Key and Lido beaches, reports stated.
The red tide ran scarlet, more than a million cells per liter of water, in most of the water samples collected from Siesta Key to Tampa Bay and Indian Shores Beach along the Gulf in Pinellas County.
While natural to the Gulf, when concentrations of the airborne toxins of red tide algae, Karina brevis, exceeds 100,000 cells per liter of water, people can experience respiratory problems.
Also, higher concentrations of the algae can kill fish and other marine life like dolphins, manatees and sea turtles.
To learn more about red tide and red tide status, visit myfwc.com.