Red Tide 2018

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Clearwater has been impacted by Red Tide this year.

Image of tractor and beach cleanup machine dealing with Red Tide dead fish

  • For beach conditions as reported by the MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, visit visitbeaches.org.
  • For daily status reports from Pinellas County Government, click here.

Has Your Business Been Impacted?

Has your business been impacted by Red Tide? If so, please complete the Business Damage Assessment Survey at FloridaDisaster.biz to help Pinellas County receive federal declaration from the Small Business Administration.

Red Tide Cleanup Requests

Pinellas County Environmental Management has launched a new web-based tool for citizens and municipalities to report large numbers of dead fish due to the Red Tide bloom.

The tool can be accessed at www.pinellascounty.org/redtide under the header “How to Handle Dead Fish.” Citizens first see a popup window with general information and are then taken to the reporting tool. By clicking on “Create Report,” users can access a form that allows them to select the type of problem, add comments, provide their contact information, and attach pictures. They can give the precise location by either clicking on a map or entering an address.

Citizens are asked to report only dead fish in the hundreds or thousands that are found in the open water or on public property. If there are a small number of dead fish, citizens can scoop them out and place them in a trash bag for disposal through normal trash pickup or a drop-off location. Drop-off locations are also provided through a link at www.pinellascounty.org/redtide. Pinellas County’s contractor cannot conduct cleanup activities on private property.

The contractor is currently deploying 20 harvesting boats offshore and within the Intracoastal Waterway, along with six beach rakes. Through Thursday, Sept. 20, 588 tons of Red Tide-related debris have been removed.

What is Red Tide?

Red tide is a type of harmful algae bloom (HAB) caused by an increase or “bloom” in the concentration of certain microscopic algae in the water column. Red tide events have been noted in Florida since the 1800’s and most certainly occurred prior to European settlement. The most common red tide organism in Florida is the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. In high enough concentrations the algae turns the water column a distinct red color. While K. brevis is a naturally occurring organism, nutrient enrichment of our coastal waters can make blooms worse and longer lived.

K. brevis does produce toxins that can be mixed with airborne sea spray. People may experience varying degrees of eye, nose, and throat irritation. When a person leaves an area with a red tide, symptoms usually go away. People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic lung disease are cautioned to avoid areas with active red tides.

Report Fish & Wildlife Impact

Contact Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to report fish or marine life impacted by red tide.

  • Report dead, sick, or injured manatee or sea turtle to the Wildlife Alert Hotline: (888) 404-3922
  • Report fish kill online or at (800) 636-0511

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