For the past six months or so, Pinellas and Manatee County beaches have suffered from the sights and awful smells courtesy of Florida’s 2018 Red Tide outbreak. Red Tide brought in mounds of dead fish and sea life from dolphins to manatees to turtles and everything in between. This impacted tourism and locals from getting out on the water. As we close out 2018 some good news has come in from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, both counties’ beaches are showing marked improvement for the bacteria associated with Red Tide for the first time in six months.
Bacteria levels in the latest tests performed in both counties for Red Tide are either non-existent or at such a low level that they are not harmful to humans or wildlife.
What does this mean for us locals?
Beach enjoyment without a foul smell, easier breathing if you have asthma, and less to worry about if you go in the water. But please remember to do the stingray shuffle as you venture into the water.
To view Red Tide status reports the FFWCC posts the info here: myfwc.com/research/red-tide/statewide/. According to the site, it provides you with the last 8-days of water sample results. Result updates are posted online at 5 pm.
To read more about Red Tide dissipating from Florida’s gulf coast waters, visit: www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2018/12/30/red-tide-clears-from-bay-area-beaches-in-time-for-holiday-weekend.