ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — People gathered Saturday in an effort to draw more attention to St. Petersburg's red tide crisis and, hopefully, spur some sort of change.
Mayor Rick Kriseman joined the crowd, tweeting Saturday he appreciated "everyone's passion and engagement. We have the power to change the direction of this state, to modernize Florida, and to protect our natural environment."
The previous story is below.
A red tide rally will be held on Saturday at the St. Pete Pier.
Dozens of people have come together to organize this hoping it will create clean change for our waterways.
"We’re getting people in the community to express themselves. So tomorrow when we do a rally, we can share how we feel about what’s currently going on with the state crisis of our waterways," a member of Suncoast Surfrider Foundation, Thomas Paterek said.
Thomas Paterek is a part of Suncoast Surfriders and dedicates his time to help Tampa Bay area waterways. Paterek said what he is seeing in terms of red tide is devastating.
"It’s really frustrating. I go to the ocean all the time to feel connected, to feel a place of self. Every time I’ve been going, it’s nothing but death and sadness and the feeling of regret that I’m even here," Paterek expressed.
Friday night Paterek organized a sign-making event ahead of the rally. People came out to make signs that highlighted the red tide our waterways are facing.
"The reason that we’re doing this is because no one is standing up and saying anything," Paterek stated.
Saturday dozens of people and local politicians are expected to go to the St. Pete Pier to rally together for clean water change.
"Tomorrow is really about taking the step in the right direction for what the future of our waterways are and getting the community together," Paterek said.
Paterek said the goal is to clean our waterways and educate people about controlling red tide.
"For the short term, we need to clean this up immediately. We need an emergency declaration from the governor to help fund and support the cleanup. Long term, we need a lot more accountability for corporations," Paterek explained.
The rally will be held Saturday at the St Pete Pier and is open to the public. People are encouraged to bring signs.
All information for the event is linked here.