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Snead Island neighbors complaining about foul smell, experts say this could have potential Piney Point connection

Neighbors complaining of a rotten smell and gunk washing up ashore on Snead Island.
Neighbors complaining of a rotten smell and gunk washing up ashore on Snead Island.(wwsb)
Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 5:03 PM EDT
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SNEAD ISLAND, Fla. (WWSB) -Several neighbors on Snead Island have reached out to ABC7 after noticing a strong odor and gunk washing up ashore. They say they’ve been seeing this for more than a week in the area.

One neighbor ABC7 spoke to on Monday afternoon said the smell got so bad they left their home temporarily until it cleared out. Another said the smell reminded them of rotten eggs.

We reached out to leaders of the Sarasota Bay Estuary and they say it’s called Lyngbya, a type of blue green algae. Experts there tell ABC7 they’re seeing it on Anna Maria Island as well.

Videos on Monday were taken during high tide but neighbors say when the tide is low you can see the slush for more than two dozen feet off shore.

One expert says this is potentially related to a delayed effect of Piney Point.

“You cant go out on your screen porch like you usually do because it smells so bad,” said neighbor Mike Strong.

“Its like a very thick algae and its very slimy and it almost looks like its sitting on top of the water it’s that thick,” said Strong.

Experts say its a blue green algae called Lyngbya and it’s resurfaced much earlier than it usually does during our summer months.

“When it decomposes in large abundances then it will use up all the oxygen in the water and that can cause fish kills,” said Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Executive Director Dr. David Tomasko.

They’re pointing their finger at Piney Point and the hundreds of thousands of gallons of contaminated nutrient rich water dumped into our bay.

“Its not happening except in those parts of the bay where the release was expected to affect it and also its falling a similar kind of timeline and location as what happened 20 years ago when we had the prior releases from Piney point back in 2001,” said Tomasko.

Neighbors are just looking for the smell to go and for the slush to be scooped away. We’ve reached out to the the Florida Department of Environment Protection on this matter, we’re awaiting a response.

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