Red Tide Reaches Tampa Bay

Madeleine Katz, Online Editor

After edging up Florida’s west coast from Sarasota, red tide has finally made its way to Tampa Bay. The shores of Pinellas County’s beaches are littered with the bodies of dead fish and other sea animals. The deadly algae bloom doesn’t only harm sea life, but can harm humans too.

Respiratory problems are a major side effect of breathing the air near the red tide infested gulf. Pinellas County residents have reportedly been complaining of respiratory issues, especially those who live on the water according to ABC Action News Tampa Bay.

Many PHU students are worried about going to the beach while there is red tide. “I wanted to go to the beach with my friend to watch the sunset, so we biked to the Crystal Beach pier. When we got close she remembered that there was red tide and was concerned about going too close to the water so we ended up biking back to my house without watching the sunset,” Avery Gross (‘20) said. Avery’s biggest concern about the red tide is the sea life being harmed and she doesn’t plan on swimming in the ocean or hanging out at the beach until the red tide is gone.

According to the Florida Department of Health, red tide can cause skin and eye redness and irritation, and it is recommended to rinse off and keep out of the water if anyone experiences those symptoms. It is also recommended that anyone who has experienced any respiratory problems in the past should stay away from the beaches.

When driving near the beach, it is important to keep the windows shut and the AC up high. Pets that are usually kept outdoors should be kept inside since red tide can harm them too, as reported by the Florida Department of Health.

The Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island, and Clearwater Beach, which are all popular hang out spots for PHU students, are now places that could be hazardous for students’ health. It’s impossible to know how long the red tide will remain in Tampa Bay.