RED TIDE ALERT

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:

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/.


SEA TURTLE NESTING AND HATCHING SEASON

Sea turtle nesting season began on Saturday, May 1, and the Town is reminding residents and visitors to do their part to help protect adult and hatchling sea turtles as they nest on our beaches.

During nesting season, which runs through Oct. 31, beach residents and beach visitors should do the following:

  • Turn off outside lights, close curtains and avoid using flashlights or fishing lamps on the beach. 
  • Remove obstacles such as sandcastles or sand pits that may interfere with nesting sea turtles or make it too difficult for hatchlings to make their way to the shoreline.
  • Keep the beach clean. Eliminate trash items that may entangle baby hatchlings and adult turtles.
  • Do not approach or harass adult or baby turtles. 
  • If residents spot turtle tracks or a possible nest, and it does not appear to be protected by stakes or ribbon, call 1-888-404-3922.
  • For residents who own or live in beachside properties, make sure lighting is turtle-friendly. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)’s sea turtle lighting guidelines can be found at bit.ly/sea-turtle-lighting.

Loggerheads are the most common sea turtle to nest in Pinellas County, and females generally nest from early May through August. The eggs in each nest typically hatch 50 to 60 days after they are laid.

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium monitors the beaches from Clearwater Beach through Treasure Island, and Sea Turtle Trackers monitors the beaches of St. Pete Beach, Shell Key and Outback.

Staff members conduct early-morning patrols to locate new nesting sites. Residents should not pick up hatchlings heading toward the water, shine lights or use photo equipment with a flash. Hatchlings use starlight and moonlight reflecting off the water to find their way to the ocean, and if they become misled by artificial light, they can become disoriented and die.

Besides checking the beaches every morning for signs of new nests, staff mark the nests and tape them off to avoid human disturbance. As endangered and threatened species, Kemp’s Ridley and Loggerhead turtles are protected under state and federal law, and disturbing them, their nests or even a dead turtle is illegal. 

To report the disturbance of a sea turtle nest, or report the sightings of turtles that are dead, lost, stranded or wandering in the street, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement at 1-888-404-3922 or dial *FWC from a cell phone. Residents can also report these sightings on the FWC website at bit.ly/turtle-report

Redington Beach has a sea turtle ordinance. The entire ordinance can be read by clicking this link: REDINGTON BEACH SEA TURTLE ORDINANCE


PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON

Hurricane season began on June 1st and ends on December 1st. It’s not too late to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Your friends at Pinellas County Emergency Management have an excellent resource for every aspect of hurricane preparedness. Click this link for lots of great information and links to resources.

In addition, the 2021 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday runs from May 28 – June 6. Lots of items can be purchased tax-free. The list can be found by clicking here.


MEMORIAL DAY MAY 31, 2021

Please take a moment this Memorial Day to honor and remember the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

2 American flags and the words Memorial day
Click this image to read about the history of Memorial Day.


National Safe Boating Week: May 22-28, 2021

Boating and Water Safety

From the Safe Boating Campaign

Recreational boating and water activities are enjoyed by millions of Americans each year. To encourage growth in recreational boating and water activities, the Safe Boating Campaign recommends these boating and water safety media best practices to support a culture of safety and encourage those enjoying the water to have the right safety gear.

1. Life jackets: To model responsible safety behavior, all boaters should always wear a life jacket on any vessel underway (i.e. motorized and non-motorized watercraft). It is encouraged to have life jackets on children under the age of 13 while swimming or during other activities on open water (i.e. water trampolines, water slides). All state laws for life jacket use shall be followed (e.g. while operating or riding on a personal watercraft, etc.).

2. Alcoholic beverages: Boating under the influence of alcohol is the primary leading cause of recreational boating accidents. Any displays of alcoholic beverages or drug use will be avoided in all marketing and advertising. Be conscientious to avoid any containers that may resemble alcoholic beverages.

3. Engine Cut-Off Device: An engine cut-off device should always be used on a watercraft with a motor (i.e. powerboat, personal watercraft). This may be a cord lanyard that is attached to the operator’s wrist or life jacket, and then properly attached, or a wireless device that includes a wristband or visible fob for the boat operator and/or passengers. An engine cut-off device will immediately stop the boat’s engine should the operator, or for some brands – even passenger, fall overboard.

4. Carbon Monoxide: Gasoline powered engines on boats produce carbon monoxide; an odorless and colorless gas that is poisonous. Please avoid people swimming anywhere near the stern (rear) of a motorized vessel or occupants sitting along the swim deck/platform of a motorized vessel while the boat motor is running.

5. Leash: If a standup paddleboard activity is featured, the participant should wear an appropriate leash for the venue. This is attached to the paddleboard and to the participant’s ankle or calf.

 

Governor Ron DeSantis issues proclamation for
Safe Boating Week in Florida
 
 
 

 


Barrier Islands Hurricane Preparedness Summit 2021

Hurricane Preparedness Summit 2021

May 19  | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Zoom Registration Link: LINK TO REGISTER

Registration is required to attend this event

Disaster Preparedness has always been essential for Pinellas County beach residents and businesses. To help the community better prepare for Hurricane Season, Pinellas County Emergency Management and beach community partners present the annual Barrier Islands Hurricane Preparedness Summit.

The summit will be a hybrid event, with the option of participating in person at Madeira Beach City Hall, or virtually via Zoom. Registration is required to attend the live and virtual event.

Moderated by St. Pete Beach Mayor Alan Johnson, president of the Barrier Islands Governmental Council (BIG- C), the panelists will discuss personal and home preparation, evacuation procedures, shelter options, special needs, and insurance considerations for the residents of the barrier island, as well as the responsibilities before, during and after a storm. This webinar will address the unique considerations of Pinellas County beach residents, from Clearwater Beach to Tierra Verde.

Pinellas County Emergency Management encourages the barrier island communities to “Pledge to Plan” in 2021 and will provide the information and resources needed to create, or update, disaster plans for the 2021 storm season.

Summit panelists include representatives from Pinellas County Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, Local Law Enforcement, Local Fire Rescue, Public Works and the insurance industry.

In addition, local subject matter experts and personnel from the various beach municipalities will be on hand to answer questions.


GOLF CART USAGE IN REDINGTON BEACH

At this time, golf carts can NOT be driven on streets in the Town of Redington Beach.

Low-speed vehicles ARE allowed, provided they are driven by a licensed driver.

Let’s talk about the difference between golf carts and low-speed vehicles. Golf carts are small vehicles
designed originally to carry two golfers and their golf clubs around a golf course or on desert trails with less
effort than walking. A golf cart must be equipped with efficient brakes, reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, a
rearview mirror, and red reflectorized warning devices in both the front and rear. A golf cart may be operated
only upon a city street that has been designated by a city for use by golf carts. Upon a determination
that golf carts may be safely operated on a designated road or street, the city shall post appropriate signs to
indicate that such operation is allowed. A golf cart may be operated only during the hours between sunrise and sunset, unless the city has determined that a golf cart may be operated during the hours between sunset and sunrise and the golf cart is equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield. The Town of Redington Beach has not designated any streets for use by golf carts.

A low-speed vehicle or mini truck may be operated only on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. A low-speed vehicle must be equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and vehicle identification numbers. A low-speed vehicle or mini truck must be registered, insured and titled. Any person operating a low-speed vehicle or mini truck must have in his or her possession a valid driver license.


IMPORTANT FLOODING WEBINAR 12/15 AT 6PM

Online conversation to address Tropical Storm Eta impacts

Residents along the beaches, low lying areas and mobile home parks in Pinellas County were impacted by Tropical Storm Eta, many incurring damage from the rain and storm surge. They now face issues with insurance, homes that are inhabitable and questions about disaster assistance.

To address citizens’ concerns, Pinellas County Emergency Management and Floodplain Management will hold an online conversation, “Flooding: Face, Fiction and FEMA,” to address on Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Moderator Hank Hodde, the county’s Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator, will be joined by Joe Borries, the Pinellas County Emergency Management Operations Manager, Lisa Foster, Floodplain Manager and Jess McCracken, Whole Community Engagement Specialist. Representatives from local municipalities are expected to join the conversation to talk about flooding risks in Pinellas County, disaster assistance, insurance policies and protecting a home in the wake of a flood. Questions will be addressed throughout the event.

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Vo-7H5aMSiecTL6Y3QRJuQ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information on the event, call Pinellas County Emergency Management at (727) 464-3634 or email [email protected].


FLOOD DAMAGE PERMITTING INFORMATION

IF YOUR HOUSE FLOODED
DURING TROPICAL STORM ETA…

The Building Department has issued a list of procedures to follow to make sure the permitting process is both quick and efficient.

Send an email to [email protected]

Subject line: TS ETA WATER DAMAGE PERMIT

Include in the email: 

WRITTEN SCOPE OF WORK, DESCRIBING WHAT WORK IS TO BE DONE

A COST ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK TO BE DONE

THE NAME AND LICENSE INFORMATION OF THE LICENSED CONTRACTOR DOING THE WORK

PHOTOGRAPHS (IF AVAILABLE) SHOWING AREA OF WORK AND EXTENT OF DAMAGE

PERMIT APPLICATION (click this link): https://fmsbuildingdepartment.com/towns/redington-beach

If you have questions or need additional guidance, please call:
Bruce Cooper, Building Official – 727-263-8366