ABC Action News spent the past week reporting on the sad details of a toxic algae bloom that continues to devastate beaches from Southwest Florida up to the northern tip of Anna Maria Island. But there are a lot of beautiful beaches you can still enjoy.
The Karenia brevis blooms are not present anywhere in Pinellas County.
We drove from Pass-A-Grille north and found people out enjoying a beautiful, but mostly cloudy, day at the beach.
”We were concerned about it,” Erica Andert said. Andert is visiting Pass-A-Grille from Indiana.
“I didn’t hear about which beaches you could go to. We weren’t sure which beaches would be infected,” Andert said. “We haven’t seen it, other than TV, so I didn’t realize it was this close to us.”
The latest prediction over the next 3.5 days shows the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) making its way towards the mouth of Tampa Bay. The forecast indicates by Aug. 13 there could be low amounts hugging the southern coast near the Sunshine Skyway.
“We are getting a lot of people down from Siesta and Sarasota area, they are coming up here and talking about how much better it is,” Armando Lopez said. Lopez rents out paddleboards and chairs on St. Pete Beach.
Tampa Bay is the largest estuary in the state of Florida, and a lot of people like Lopez hope the currents, changing tides, and winds will work to keep the red tide south.
“No bad smell. There’s no dead fish. I think it might be the bay that’s helping us out keeping it separated from coming this way,” Lopez said. “We’ll just have to see what happens. It’s a big worry for me. I just hope it doesn’t reach this way. I got my fingers crossed.”