TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. – It’s rare to see empty beaches on a sunny, September afternoon in Pinellas County, but another wave of red tide has pushed beachgoers away from the sun, sand and sea that make the area so popular.
“There's no one here. It's crazy. I've never seen the beach like this,” said Kara Devereux, who visited Treasure Island with her children Saturday afternoon.
Thousands of dead fish and eels washed ashore over the weekend, shocking tourists and natives alike.
“It’s sad,” said Romana Claiborne, who’s been in the area for 25 years. “It’s the first time I see that nobody’s in the water.”
County crews have worked throughout the day to clean the beaches as dead marine life made their way to the shore throughout the day. Officials say they are prepared to continue to work as long as red tide persists.
It’s also having an adverse effect on local, small businesses who rely on beachgoers for revenue.
"We've probably done like $300 today. We're used to having at least like, a thousand by now,” said Walker Calhoun of Paradise Sweets. "I hope it'll go away because it's not good for anyone. Neither the marine ecosystem or us. It's really horrible."
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now.