Red tide impacting Sarasota County beaches, making it’s way up to Manatee County beaches

Red tide impacting Sarasota and Manatee County beaches.
Red tide impacting Sarasota and Manatee County beaches.(WWSB)
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 7:30 PM EST
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SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WWSB) - You can smell it and you can feel it. There is now a red tide presence on beaches throughout Sarasota County.

“Definitely, we’re all noticing a tickle in our throat and we’re hacking away,” said Maureen Condon, a Venice Beach visitor from Boston. “But I don’t know if that makes us irresponsible that we’re sitting here, but we’re enjoying the beach.”

Organizers and sand sculptors of the very popular Siesta Key Crystal Classic don’t think red tide will have much of an impact on their event this weekend. They lost one day because of the tropical storm. They’re optimistic everything will run smoothly for the event this Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

“We’re hoping that it stays offshore and doesn’t become truly an issue here,” said Nancy-jo Manney, Membership Director for the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. “It’s one of those things that we don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re hopeful.”

Environmentalists say the storms are most likely a contributing factor. Red tide levels on the beaches are low to high throughout Sarasota County. On Siesta Beach it’s at a medium level. Venice Beach has a high level.

“I literally spent 10 seconds on the beach and turned around,” said Frannie Smith, a Venice resident. “I was coughing, it was a little hazy out there.”

Beachgoers could also feel a tickle in their throat and irritation in their eyes. Health officials are urging people to stay out of the water where red tide is present.