PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Planning a beach day soon? Before you go, take a moment to check beach conditions.
As red tide continues to impact some Tampa Bay area beaches, it's a good idea to see if your planned destination is affected by harmful algae blooms.
Since June, the Pinellas County health department has had a health warning regarding red tide in effect.
The Florida Department of Health has issued a health advisory for several Tampa Bay beaches due to high bacteria levels in the water.
The health department does not recommend swimming at Bahia, Ben T. Davis, Davis Islands, Cypress Point, E.G. Simmons and Picnic Island beaches. Health leaders say water samples showed above normal levels of enterococci bacteria.
The bacteria normally inhabit the intestinal tracts of animals and humans and can cause infections or rashes. According to health leaders, the presence of the bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution - a result of stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.
Going into the Labor Day weekend, there are currently high rip current risk statements for Manatee County, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County and Sarasota County.
The National Weather Service has these tips: "Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don't swim against the current. If able, swim in a
direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help."
The map below, made by the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) shows a daily forecast for respiratory issues caused by red tide. You can also see the map here.
Mote Marine Laboratory also has a beach conditions reporting system. You can get the latest information here.