After months of toxic conditions at the beach, Pinellas County finally has some relief. According to Veronica Brezina-Smith of the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the concentration of red tide in Pinellas is much better than before.
In a period of only ten days, the red tide improved dramatically. As of the November 26, water samples showed that the Gulfport Fishing Pier had medium concentrations of red tide. The same testing revealed that Fort de Soto Park piers, St. John’s Pass, and several other nearby areas had low concentrations. The county was confident enough in the improvement to temporarily stop their daily updates on beach conditions.
Only two weeks before, water testing revealed high concentrations of red tide at the same locations. Imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that the bloom moved, for the most part, south of the Tampa Bay area.
The news comes as a major relief to many residents of Tampa and surrounding areas. Red tide in Pinellas County did its fair share of damage. Since the bloom appeared, the county has removed over 1,861 tons of red-tide debris. Dead dolphins, manatees, and fish ended up on beaches along Tampa Bay. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will continue to monitor red tide throughout the state.
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