- Red Tide Respiratory Forecast Tool provides beach-by-beach data
- New GIS map shows both County and FWC water sample testing results
With Red Tide persisting, Pinellas County has initiated cleanup of dead marine life from the county’s beaches. Crews will begin work late Tuesday or on Wednesday.
Satellite imagery shows a patchy bloom of Red Tide off the Pinellas County coast. Forecasting models show it moving north for the next seven to 10 days. Fish kills have been reported in several locations on the gulf beaches and within the Intracoastal Waterway and Boca Ciega Bay. A new GIS map shows the latest water sample testing data from both the County and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Even when Red Tide is present off the Pinellas County coast, it is not necessarily present at all beaches. Residents and visitors can check beach conditions at www.beachesupdate.com and via the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast Tool.
Red Tide kills marine life by producing a potent toxin that affects the central nervous system of the fish. The toxin can also affect birds, sea turtles, mammals and other marine animals. In humans, Red Tide can also cause respiratory symptoms in people such as eye, nose, and throat irritation similar to cold symptoms. Some individuals with breathing problems such as asthma might experience more severe symptoms. Usually symptoms go away when a person leaves the area or goes indoors.
Red tide has been detected off the shores of Pinellas County and the Town of Redington Beach is monitoring the situation along with Pinellas County Government and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Stay up to date by checking:
- Red Tide Respiratory Forecast Tool
- Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Beach Status Dashboard
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) is notifying the public of a Red Tide bloom along Pinellas coastal beaches. Some people may have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation similar to cold symptoms. Some individuals with breathing problems such as asthma might experience more severe symptoms. Usually symptoms go away when a person leaves the area or goes indoors.
Health officials recommend that people experiencing these symptoms stay away from beach areas or go into an air-conditioned space. If symptoms do not subside, please contact your health care provider for evaluation.
DOH-Pinellas recommends these steps:
- Do not swim around dead fish at this location.
- If you have chronic respiratory problems, be careful and consider staying away from this location as red tide can affect your breathing.
- Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish from this location. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
- Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam and dead sea life.
- Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications).
- If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.
Florida Poison Control Centers have a toll-free 24/7 Hotline for reporting of illnesses, including health effects from exposure to red tide at 1-888-232-8635.
Here is a link to a Red Tide map: HAB Forecasts (gcoos.org)
For information about Red Tide and links to other resources, visit http://pinellas.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/environmental-health/water-programs/red-tide/index.html.
Please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research website for additional information on the locations where red tide has been found: myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/.