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The original item was published from 7/12/2021 1:23:00 PM to 7/16/2021 2:20:46 PM.

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Town of Indian Shores

Posted on: July 8, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Pinellas County ramps up Red Tide Response

Medium to High Red Tide concentrations in Tampa Bay and many Gulf Beaches

Pinellas County has deployed Public Works crews and contractors to assist with the removal of dead fish impacted by a Red Tide bloom in Tampa Bay, which is affecting Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, and the Intracoastal Waterway. 

Over the weekend, the County’s contractor, DCR Emergency Services, brought in eight fishing boats to remove dead fish and marine life from Fort De Soto, Boca Ciega Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway, and sections of Tampa Bay along the City of St. Petersburg’s waterfront. Collectively, local governments had collected more than 410 tons of marine life since the event started in June. 

Pinellas beaches remain open with varying levels of Red Tide spotted along the coast today, but the National Weather Service and the Florida Department of Health have both issued advisories to beachgoers about potential respiratory impacts and avoiding water where dead fish are present. Locals and visitors can find the latest respiratory forecast and Red Tide conditions at BeachesUpdate.com. 

The latest testing conducted Friday showed concentrations ranging from not present to high along Pinellas beaches from Fort De Soto to Honeymoon Island; satellite imagery and a flight this morning showed the largest patches around Clearwater Pass as well as from Madeira Beach north to Redington Beach. 

What residents need to know 

Check the latest Red Tide concentrations: Red Tide can cause respiratory irritation in higher concentrations, especially when the wind is blowing onshore. Pinellas County contributes to the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast tool for anyone considering a beach visit. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater maintains a beach status dashboard that also includes this information at www.beachesupdate.com. The location and severity of Red Tide impacts is influenced by the direction of the wind and tides and may change from one day to the next – check these sites when planning a beach trip for the latest information. 

Report fish kills: Large fish kills have been reported in St. Petersburg and areas of the Intra-Coastal Waterway. Residents can report fish kills to FWC through the FWC Reporter app, by calling 800-636-0511 or by submitting a report online. Residents who find dead fish near their boat dock can retrieve them with a skimmer and dispose of them with their regular trash or call their local municipality for additional guidance. 

Fertilizer ban reminder: Occurrences of Red Tide in the Gulf of Mexico have been documented for centuries, but blooms can be worsened by excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous. Residents are reminded that fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus cannot be used or sold through Sept. 30, and phosphorus cannot be used any time of year unless a soil test confirms that it is needed.

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