RUSKIN, Fla. — Don't go in the water — that's what the National Weather Service is advising until Saturday evening in Pinellas County and coastal Manatee and Sarasota counties because of red tide.
The NWS said there's a chance for respiratory irritation from the algae bloom to impact people in certain coastal areas.
A beach hazards statement was originally issued Thursday morning by the National Weather Service. It will remain in effect through Saturday evening. That doesn't necessarily mean the red tide will be gone by then. The organism that causes red tide, Karenia brevis, has filled many Tampa Bay-area waterways with dead marine life and the smell that comes along with it for weeks now.
Some locations are worse than others — Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater has a handy tool on its website detailing the latest red tide conditions.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium also has a nifty map tool that shows information about Southwest Florida beaches during red tide events. You can see whether there are dead fish, whether beachgoers are experiencing respiratory irritation and what color the water is.
The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System has an experimental map you can use to zoom in and out on several beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. This predicts the risk of respiratory irritation given wind and ocean current forecasts.
As of Thursday afternoon, 1,712 tons of marine life have been collected in Pinellas County. That's more than 3.4 million pounds.
To report a fish kill to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), call the hotline at 800-636-0511. For more resources, click here.
You can also find different resources to check beach conditions here.
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