Water-Related News

Pinellas County, FWC resume monitoring Red Tide in local waters

July 8, 2021 – Pinellas County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) continue to monitor concentrations of Red Tide detected in waters around Pinellas County following Tropical Storm Elsa.

Tropical Storm Elsa prevented testing on Wednesday. Pinellas County water quality testing on Thursday showed:

  • Very low levels of Red Tide at Fred Howard Park and Honeymoon Island
  • Medium levels of Red Tide at Clearwater Beach, Sand Key, Indian Rocks, and Madeira Beach
  • High levels of Red Tide at Treasure Island and Pass-a-Grille
  • Medium levels of Red Tide at Fort DeSoto

There are no beach closures for Pinellas County beaches at this time and the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County has not issued any beach warnings. A flight today revealed patchy areas along the Gulf coast and within Boca Ciega Bay. Satellite imagery shows a red tide bloom along the St. Petersburg coastline and within Boca Ciega Bay.

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.

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.

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.