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Red tide blooms have been detected offshore of Sarasota County, state environment officials say

 Screenshot of the FWC's weekly red tide report map.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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Courtesy
Screenshot of the FWC's weekly red tide report map.

High levels of the red tide organism Karenia brevis have been detected along the Sarasota County coast this week, according to state environment officials.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission weekly online report from Friday shows that although sampling is still impacted by the passage of Hurricane Ian last month, red tide blooms have been documented in four samples offshore of Sarasota. Respiratory irritations in people were also reported.

Very low concentrations of Karenia brevis were found offshore of Charlotte County, and background concentrations, which are considered normal, were located around Manatee and Lee counties.

The FWC showed in its daily sample map that the high concentration sites were at Nokomis Beach and North Jetty from samples taken on Monday. Medium concentrations were documented at the Venice Inlet and Higel Marine Park. Low concentrations were found at Venice Beach.

The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System's respiratory forecast showed Friday that Nokomis Beach has moderate respiratory irritation risk, and low risk in North Jetty and Venice Beach.

Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System
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Courtesy

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Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of Morning Edition at WUSF Public Media.