Sarasota County crews removing seaweed from Siesta and Lido beaches
Sarasota County crews began seaweed cleanup operations on Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, today. The cleanup at Siesta Beach is expected to last through Wednesday. A cleanup of Lido Beach, 400 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, will begin Thursday.
Cleanup operations are limited to beach areas seaward of the mean high tide water line (wet sand) by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The new rules were put in place to protect sea turtle nests which had been identified before tropical storm Debby, but many markings were washed away during the storm.
Increased amounts of seaweed are coming ashore on beaches throughout the gulf coast due to Debby in late June. While all Sarasota County beaches have seen some increase in seaweed, most of the material has washed back into the gulf with tides. "Right now, south county beaches don't seem to be impacted for very long periods," said George Tatge, manager, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation. "We are at the mercy of mother nature, which means we work closely with lifeguards and other county staff to monitor each beach every day and respond appropriately."
Visitors and residents can get the latest beach conditions by calling 941-BEACHES (941-232-2437). The hotline is updated twice a day.