SARASOTA BAY, Fla. — A type of blue-green algae is what's causing the rotten smell by parts of Sarasota Bay, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection confirms.
- Algae is different than what lingered in Lake Okeechobee
- Officials in Manatee County monitoring situation
- More Manatee County headlines
A sample taken Wednesday from Sarasota Bay at a location off Whitfield Avenue tested positive for Lyngbya majuscula. It's a type of blue-green algae that has the potential to be toxic.
According to the DEP, experts did not detect any of the toxins Lyngbya majuscula is capable of producing while sampling this bloom.
It's a different type of algae than what has lingered in Lake Okeechobee over the last year.
Serge Thomas, a scientist at Florida Gulf Coast University, says coming into contact with the algae bloom can cause a rash or skin irritation.
"It's like poison ivy," he said. "Some people might be more affected by the poison ivy than others."
Thomas recommends staying out of the water by the bloom, and keeping pets from drinking or swimming in the affected area.
Officials with Manatee County are continuing to monitor the situation.
"It's not harmful to living creatures or fish, we hope, so we'll act accordingly and watch Mother Nature play itself out," said Charlie Hunsicker, director of parks and natural resources for Manatee County.
The same type of blue-green algae was detected last week in Sarasota County.