The recent red tide blooms off Pinellas County appear to be moving north, however officials reported low levels off of Pass-A-Grille, and medium concentrations off of the pier in Ft. De Soto on Tuesday, June 22.
A check of the combined Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission and Pinellas County testing map on Wednesday, June 23 also revealed low levels of K. brevis, the algae that causes red tide, off of the Williams Pier in Gulfport.
Pinellas County water quality testing on Tuesday showed that most test locations south of Clearwater had low to very low concentrations of K. brevis. A county release speculated that the higher concentrations off Ft. De Soto Park Gulf Pier may be due to higher levels coming out of lower Tampa Bay. In the north county, Clearwater Beach, Honeymoon Island and Fred Howard Park also had medium concentrations.
On Tuesday, county contractor crews worked to clean fish kills from the southern shoreline of Dunedin Causeway and Fred Howard Park, and county staff made a helicopter flight over the area, provided by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
From the air, officials found that Tampa Bay has multiple blooms throughout, and visible water discoloration about 50 to 100 feet off the shoreline from the Redington beaches to Belleair.
“The water off Clearwater Beach was slightly discolored, but has improved from previous flights,” the county release stated. “The discoloration continued north to Anclote Key and back south to the Intracoastal Waterway in Clearwater. The Intracoastal Waterway from Clearwater to Madeira Beah has some spotty blooms and discolored streaking, mostly along the eastern side.”
For the latest updates on red tide and other beach conditions, visit Beachesupdate.com and clicking on a yellow triangle to bring up a specific location. For those sensitive to red tide, check out The Red Tide Respiratory Forecast Tool before you head to the shore.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission conducts water quality testing on Mondays, including within Tampa Bay. Pinellas County is testing Tuesday through Friday along the beaches. Find a combined GIS map of all testing results here.