Red Tide returns to Pinellas beaches

The toxic algae we know as “Red Ride” is back after disappearing for three weeks. The highest levels detected this week were in Pass-a-Grill and Treasure Island.

Federal officials said there is a “high risk” of irritation from the algae in Pinellas County. The Tampa Bay Times reports:

State water samplers this week detected red tide blooms at several locations in lower Tampa Bay, including Anna Maria Island and Mead Point, and one spot along the Pinellas coastline at Treasure Island Beach, according to the latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission data. A bloom is considered 100,000 red tide-forming cells for every one liter of water.

“This bloom continues to be patchy and dynamic,” said Kate Hubbard, the director of the state’s Center for Red Tide Research.

In a text message, Hubbard offered her short-term prediction for the bay area with a slight dip in temperature coming: “Surface waters will continue northward, until they reverse and push southward as the front passes through later this weekend. This switch could help push (red tide) out of Tampa Bay.”

Translation: Red tide may be sticking around, at least for the next few days.


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