Red tide is back in Pinellas County, this time plaguing the Intracoastal waterway.
Crews were extremely busy Wednesday through Friday this week picking up dead fish in the Intracoastal. Over those three days, Pinellas County crews picked up 152 tons of dead fish in Boca Ciega Bay, the Intracoastal and the south part of the county, particularly around Fort De Soto Park.
Anna Valentine, who works at the Tierra Verde Marina, says they can't seem to catch a break.
“As soon as you hit the bridge, you can smell it. Your throat starts to burn. Your eyes start to burn,” Valentine explained. “We live in paradise and to have this constant smell and irritation, I’m just ready for it to go away.”
Just off the Pinellas Bayway South, dead fish float in batches and get caught up under docks like the one behind Theresa Irwin’s Tierra Verde condo.
“This morning I thought I would open the door and there would be none, and it was covered again. At times there are hundreds of fish,” Irwin said with a sigh.
Yet, cleanup crews hired by Pinellas County are working fast. The crews brought out dozens of boats Friday ranging from large shrimp vessels to tiny skippers.
“I can’t imagine what it would look like if they weren’t here. We can't thank them enough," Irwin added.
The Department of Environmental Protection just allocated another $3 million dollars to Pinellas County to continue the cleanup as red tide lingers.
“It’s just nonstop. It just doesn’t stop," Isla Del Sol resident Ed Manola explained.