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Water-Related News

Sarasota County staff monitoring seaweed on beaches

SARASOTA – Staff from Sarasota County Parks and Recreation are monitoring accumulations of seaweed that have begun washing ashore on sections of public beaches on Siesta Key.

"We are seeing some small amounts of seaweed washing up on sections of Siesta Beach , but nothing unusual," said George Tatge, manager Sarasota County Parks and Recreation. "Seaweed is a natural occurrence on the beaches and usually corrects itself."

Sarasota County's policy for cleaning up seaweed from beaches is to allow two tidal cycles to occur before taking any action. Frequently during this time period the tides will take seaweed back out into the Gulf of Mexico. If seaweed remains on the beach following two tidal cycles county staff will survey the area to determine if more than five cubic yards of seaweed is present over a continuous two-mile stretch of beach. If these conditions exist staff may schedule the beach to be cleaned.

"We know that seaweed on the beach is a nuisance and no one wants to see it, but it also provides a valuable food source for wildlife and helps stabilize the beach," said Tatge. "Our beaches are fragile ecosystems so our policy is to wait two tidal cycles to see if Mother Nature will take the seaweed back out. If that doesn't happen we will then determine the best course of action."

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000, or visit