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Pinellas County removes more than 800,000 pounds of dead marine life due to red tide

red tide pic from Action Air 1.jpg
Posted at 2:33 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 15:13:17-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Pinellas County officials said Monday that public works crews and contractors have removed more than 800,000 pounds of marine life since red tide started to impact the county's beaches in June.

During the weekend, Pinellas County worked with its contractor, DCR Emergency Services, to bring in eight fishing boats to help remove more dead fish and marine life from Fort De Soto, Boca Ciega Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway, and sections of Tampa Bay along St. Petersburg's waterfront.

Still, Pinellas County beaches remain open as varying levels of red tide have been reported along the beaches. Testing from Friday showed concentrations from not present to high red tide along beaches from Fort De Soto to Honeymoon Island. According to officials, new imagery on Monday showed the largest patches near Clearwater Pass along with Madeira Beach north to Redington Beach.

“Red Tide is having an impact on our bay and beaches right now, but Pinellas County is working around the clock to lessen its effects on residents and visitors by removing dead fish and sharing the latest information on where the bloom is concentrated,” Pinellas Public Works Director Kelli Hammer Levy said in a statement. “Our beaches remain open and it’s important to check the latest information on which areas are being affected as conditions change from one day to the next.”

Pinellas officials encouraged residents and visitors to check the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast tool along with the county's beach status dashboard.