Sarasota County staff members working with non-violent offenders from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Offender Work Program have been deployed to Caspersen Beach, 4100 Harbor Drive, Venice, to remove dead fish that have washed ashore. Cleanup efforts also have been scheduled today for county-owned beaches, including Manasota Beach, Blind Pass Beach, Venice Beach and others. The suspected cause of the fish kill is a red tide bloom located offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
The dead fish started washing ashore earlier this week. County staff, including lifeguards and employees of Parks and Recreation, will continue to monitor all public beaches for impacts of red tide, and will respond as the need arises.
Residents and visitors with asthma or chronic respiratory impairments who are planning to visit a local beach are encouraged to be aware of beach conditions where red tide impacts are being reported. For those who are susceptible, the symptoms associated with red tide tend to become more noticeable when the winds are blowing onshore.
Current beach conditions can be found online at Mote Marine Laboratory's website, www.mote.org/beaches. Residents and visitors also can register to receive email reports about specific beaches. For telephone updates, call 941-BEACHES (232-2437) and press "1" for Sarasota County beaches.