SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – Red tide levels are back on the rise along various Suncoast beaches, just over a month after a devastating summer bloom that killed tons of fish and made beaches not pleasant.
The Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay were beginning to return to normal, but now samples in some areas are once again detecting high levels of toxic algae.
The typical red tide season begins in late summer to early fall; however, the early bloom the Suncoast experienced came during the height of the summer season. As we head into the typical season, levels are a far cry from summer. Most samples found low to moderate amounts, but on North Jetty levels were high.
In a photo sent by pilot Spencer Arnold, you can see the distinct area where the bloom took off as he flew over North Jetty and Venice.
Meanwhile, much of the Suncoast hasn’t seen substantial impacts like the summer bloom, but local businesses are on edge after being hit in the first round. “We were closed once due to COVID last year and then again for a few days from the red tide this year and it affected us a lot,” explained Steffan Simmons, an employee of Paradise Adventures and Kayaking SRQ. .
“We are planning our summer hours which will result in a small increase in business from people traveling for holidays and unfortunately we were unable to do so. It affected my income a bit, you know? I have a 2-year-old son, he’s not cheap to feed,” Simmons explained.
“Our landlords have already had to dip into the savings we had last summer to help keep us unaffected by the red tide,” he said.
It is important to note that even if the red tide is present, the whole beach may not be impacted. Simmons told ABC 7 that many people are afraid to go out, thinking everyone is affected, but that’s not the case.
Copyright 2021 WWSB. All rights reserved.