Algae causing a big stink for some Bradenton homeowners on Sarasota Bay

Lyngbya bloom causing a major smell on Sarasota Bay in Bradenton.
Lyngbya bloom causing a major smell on Sarasota Bay in Bradenton.(WWSB)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 9:27 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - A disgusting sludge has resurfaced on Sarasota Bay. Chuck Dickens, who lives in Sarabay Estates in Bradenton, says the stench is just unbearable.

“It’s just overwhelming, you can’t spend time out here, you can’t enjoy any time by the pool,” said Dickens. “The smell is just a high-volume stench that doesn’t allow you to be out here for any extended period of time.”

Environmental experts say this algae, which has been blooming for the last week or so, is a Lyngbya bloom that could be potentially toxic. Experts say nutrients such as fertilizers or possibly a failing sewage system may be contributing to this.

“Like all algal blooms they need three ingredients,” said Abbey Tyrna, executive director of Suncoast Waterkeeper. “Those three ingredients are sunlight, temperature and nutrients. The nutrients could include nitrogen, phosphorous and for this one, iron, so together that makes the perfect condition for growing algae.”

People are encouraged to stay out of the water where this exists because it could cause some health and respiratory issues. Experts say this is dramatically impacting the seagrass and could impact some marine life. But what about red tide?

“There’s not a concern that this would help cause red tide or anything like that,” said Tyrna. “But if red tide was here, this would certainly help fuel red tide.”

As for Dickens, he wants some answers from local and Manatee County officials, so he and his neighbors can get back to enjoying their homes on the bay.

“We think the people that are responsible for monitoring what goes on in Sarasota Bay are going to need to know about this and also investigate,” said Dickens. “Because people who live in this area take full advantage of coming out here and fishing and enjoying the recreation of being out on the water, and now they simply can’t, we just want to see some action.”

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