Strange debris washing up on Sarasota beaches

Oil Spill Debris

SARASOTA, FL (WFLA) – Over the past few days, there have been numerous reports of strange debris washing up along beaches in southern Sarasota County. The debris appears to be a mat of a large rubber-like material, with scales similar to a stegosaurus.

Casey Milford spotted two large pieces of the strange debris while at the beach last Thursday. She said, “It was pretty bizarre.”oildebris

Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Michael Solum said, “From what we can tell, they’re from the oil and gas offshore industry, these are wraps on pipes.”  Solum said over the past week around a dozen of these items have washed ashore in Sarasota. There are also reports of the same debris washing up in Charlotte County. “I’ve seen a lot of weird things come to shore, this is one of the strangest ones,” said Solum.

Oil Spill Debris washing up on Sarasota beaches.
Oil Spill Debris washing up on Sarasota beaches.

Solum has reached out to the Coast Guard and federal officials to see what he should do with the debris. He explained the debris is what’s called a ‘Pipeline strake cover.’ These objects are wrapped around oil drill pipes. It’s unclear where this came from or how the debris came to shore. But it is strange that so much of the debris has been appearing, so Solum is hopeful that federal officials will investigate.

Solum emphasized the public should not be alarmed. He said, “They’re not toxic, they’re not hazardous waste.” But if anyone spots the debris, they should contact Sarasota county at 941-861-5000. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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