This red tide update presents links to several resources, including the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, area news outlets, and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater.
To learn what red tide is and how it affects our beaches, visit this article we published in 2016.
We’ve been watching the conditions that have been ravaging the beaches south of the Sunshine Skyway, and we’re grateful to report that the current bloom is not having a significant impact on our Pinellas beaches – yet. Be aware, though, that forecasts indicate we may have something to worry about in the coming weeks.
The toxins released by the algae blooms that cause red tide impact not only marine life, but also area wildlife and humans. If you have respiratory troubles, you need to be especially careful and wear a protective particle filter over your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling airborne toxins. Keep windows closed to avoid inhaling the toxins, as well as to keep unpleasant odors out, and run your air conditioner, making sure to maintain its filter properly.
If you visit the beach during a red tide outbreak, be sure to wear beach shoes to avoid puncturing your skin on shells or the bones of dead fish. While you can swim in red tide affected waters, be aware that a temporary skin irritation may develop.
Keep up-to-date on weather reports to follow wind direction. As winds push the toxins offshore, the impact of red tide is lessened along the coastline.
Follow these links for important information and a current red tide update:
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium for tracking app
Florida Department of Health for precautions to take
ABC News report on marine expert’s predictions
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater for visitor information and beach news