The following is the latest information concerning Red Tide in our area:
Pinellas County contracted with private companies to remove and dispose of the dead fish on our beaches. The photos to the left were taken on Tuesday, July 20th on Redington Beach.
If you have a large amount of dead fish in the water behind your property, please take pictures and submit to: [email protected]. Please include your address and the date the picture was taken.
Red Tide Update: 600+ tons of fish removed
July 13, 2021
Local governments in Pinellas have now removed around 613 tons of dead fish and marine life from area waterways as very high levels of Red Tide persist within Tampa Bay.
Pinellas County contractors and the City of St. Petersburg collected around 124 tons of fish on Sunday and Monday alone from Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway.
A large-scale operation to remove fish before they enter estuaries and canals continues this week.
Red Tide in some parts of Tampa Bay in the past few days tested at ten to 17 times the concentration considered “high,” which can cause significant respiratory issues in people and fish kills.
Concentrations along Pinellas beaches on Monday ranged from low to high, but impacts vary from day to day. Beaches remain open and areas with lower levels of Red Tide are safe to visit, however, higher concentrations can cause health effects, especially for people with underlying respiratory issues.
Locals and visitors can find the latest respiratory forecast and Red Tide conditions at BeachesUpdate.com.
Red Tide Health Advisory
Those visiting beaches or waterfront areas should follow the recent Red Tide Advisory from the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas:
·Do not swim around dead fish.
·If you have chronic respiratory problems, be careful and consider staying away from affected areas as Red Tide can affect your breathing.
·Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish from areas affected by Red Tide. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
·Keep pets away from water, sea foam and dead sea life.
·Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications).
·If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.
Updated: Fish Kill Reporting Information
City of St. Petersburg: City residents may report fish kills through the See Click Fix app for the quickest response: https://www.stpete.org/action_center
Other Pinellas Waterways: County contractors are actively working in areas with the largest reported fish kills. Residents can report fish kills to FWC through the FWC Reporter app, by calling 800-636-0511 or by submitting a report online. Residents who find dead fish near their boat dock can retrieve them with a skimmer and dispose of them with their regular trash or call their local municipality for additional guidance.
Check the latest Red Tide impacts:
Red Tide can cause respiratory irritation in higher concentrations, especially when the wind is blowing onshore. Pinellas County contributes to the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast tool for anyone considering a beach visit. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater maintains a beach status dashboard that also includes this information at www.beachesupdate.com. The location and severity of Red Tide impacts is influenced by the direction of the wind and tides and may change from one day to the next – check these sites when planning a beach trip for the latest information.
July 12, 2021
Pinellas County ramps up Red Tide response, dead fish removal
Medium to High Red Tide concentrations in Tampa Bay and many Gulf Beaches
Beaches remain open, but health advisories issued for respiratory impacts
Beachgoers can check daily Red Tide conditions before visiting
Pinellas County has deployed Public Works crews and contractors to assist with the removal of dead fish impacted by a Red Tide bloom in Tampa Bay, which is affecting Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, and the Intracoastal Waterway. Over the weekend, the County’s contractor, DCR Emergency Services, brought in eight fishing boats to remove dead fish and marine life from Fort De Soto, Boca Ciega Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway, and sections of Tampa Bay along the City of St. Petersburg’s waterfront. Collectively, local governments had collected more than 410 tons of marine life since the event started in June.
Pinellas beaches remain open with varying levels of Red Tide spotted along the coast today, but the National Weather Service and the Florida Department of Health have both issued advisories to beachgoers about potential respiratory impacts and avoiding water where dead fish are present. Locals and visitors can find the latest respiratory forecast and Red Tide conditions at BeachesUpdate.com.
The latest testing conducted Friday showed concentrations ranging from not present to high along Pinellas beaches from Fort De Soto to Honeymoon Island; satellite imagery and a flight this morning showed the largest patches around Clearwater Pass as well as from Madeira Beach north to Redington Beach. Updated testing results will be released by Pinellas County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) later on Monday, July 12th.
“Red Tide is having an impact on our bay and beaches right now, but Pinellas County is working around the clock to lessen its effects on residents and visitors by removing dead fish and sharing the latest information on where the bloom is concentrated,” said Public Works Director Kelli Hammer Levy.
“Our beaches remain open and it’s important to check the latest information on which areas are being affected as conditions change from one day to the next.”
What residents need to know:
Check the latest Red Tide concentrations: Red Tide can cause respiratory irritation in higher concentrations, especially when the wind is blowing onshore. Pinellas County contributes to the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast tool for anyone considering a beach visit. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater maintains a beach status dashboard that also includes this information at www.beachesupdate.com. The location and severity of Red Tide impacts is influenced by the direction of the wind and tides and may change from one day to the next – check these sites when planning a beach trip for the latest information.
Report fish kills: Large fish kills have been reported in St. Petersburg and areas of the Intra-Coastal Waterway. Residents can report fish kills to FWC through the FWC Reporter app, by calling 800-636-0511 or by submitting a report online. Residents who find dead fish near their boat dock can retrieve them with a skimmer and dispose of them with their regular trash or call their local municipality for additional guidance.
Fertilizer ban reminder: Occurrences of Red Tide in the Gulf of Mexico have been documented for centuries, but blooms can be worsened by excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous. Residents are reminded that fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus cannot be used or sold through Sept. 30, and phosphorus cannot be used any time of year unless a soil test confirms that it is needed.
FREE Monitoring Service provided by the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller’s Office.
Helps to detect fraudulent documents (e.g., deed) recorded in Official Records with your name (or your business’ name) on it
The name you choose to subscribe for alerts is the only criteria that the site monitors.
Alert service will contact your preferred method (email or phone) with the Official Record (OR) document number and document type, you can then search Official Records online to review the document.
Sign up by calling 1-800-728-3858 or by clicking the link, below:
Sea turtle nesting season began on Saturday, May 1, and the Town is reminding residents and visitors to do their part to help protect adult and hatchling sea turtles as they nest on our beaches.
During nesting season, which runs through Oct. 31, beach residents and beach visitors should do the following:
- Turn off outside lights, close curtains and avoid using flashlights or fishing lamps on the beach.
- Remove obstacles such as sandcastles or sand pits that may interfere with nesting sea turtles or make it too difficult for hatchlings to make their way to the shoreline.
- Keep the beach clean. Eliminate trash items that may entangle baby hatchlings and adult turtles.
- Do not approach or harass adult or baby turtles.
- If residents spot turtle tracks or a possible nest, and it does not appear to be protected by stakes or ribbon, call 1-888-404-3922.
- For residents who own or live in beachside properties, make sure lighting is turtle-friendly. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)’s sea turtle lighting guidelines can be found at bit.ly/sea-turtle-lighting.
Loggerheads are the most common sea turtle to nest in Pinellas County, and females generally nest from early May through August. The eggs in each nest typically hatch 50 to 60 days after they are laid.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium monitors the beaches from Clearwater Beach through Treasure Island, and Sea Turtle Trackers monitors the beaches of St. Pete Beach, Shell Key and Outback.
Staff members conduct early-morning patrols to locate new nesting sites. Residents should not pick up hatchlings heading toward the water, shine lights or use photo equipment with a flash. Hatchlings use starlight and moonlight reflecting off the water to find their way to the ocean, and if they become misled by artificial light, they can become disoriented and die.
Besides checking the beaches every morning for signs of new nests, staff mark the nests and tape them off to avoid human disturbance. As endangered and threatened species, Kemp’s Ridley and Loggerhead turtles are protected under state and federal law, and disturbing them, their nests or even a dead turtle is illegal.
To report the disturbance of a sea turtle nest, or report the sightings of turtles that are dead, lost, stranded or wandering in the street, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement at 1-888-404-3922 or dial *FWC from a cell phone. Residents can also report these sightings on the FWC website at bit.ly/turtle-report.
Redington Beach has a sea turtle ordinance. The entire ordinance can be read by clicking this link: REDINGTON BEACH SEA TURTLE ORDINANCE
At this time, golf carts can NOT be driven on streets in the Town of Redington Beach.
Low-speed vehicles ARE allowed, provided they are driven by a licensed driver.
Let’s talk about the difference between golf carts and low-speed vehicles. Golf carts are small vehicles
designed originally to carry two golfers and their golf clubs around a golf course or on desert trails with less
effort than walking. A golf cart must be equipped with efficient brakes, reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, a
rearview mirror, and red reflectorized warning devices in both the front and rear. A golf cart may be operated
only upon a city street that has been designated by a city for use by golf carts. Upon a determination
that golf carts may be safely operated on a designated road or street, the city shall post appropriate signs to
indicate that such operation is allowed. A golf cart may be operated only during the hours between sunrise and sunset, unless the city has determined that a golf cart may be operated during the hours between sunset and sunrise and the golf cart is equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield. The Town of Redington Beach has not designated any streets for use by golf carts.
A low-speed vehicle or mini truck may be operated only on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. A low-speed vehicle must be equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and vehicle identification numbers. A low-speed vehicle or mini truck must be registered, insured and titled. Any person operating a low-speed vehicle or mini truck must have in his or her possession a valid driver license.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reported that several vehicles were burglarized and a vehicle was stolen from Redington Beach recently. The Sheriff’s office would like to remind our residents of a few methods to reduce or eliminate this from happening:
- Never leave the keys in your vehicle.
- Always lock the doors, even when you are away from the vehicle for a short time.
- Remove items (purses, tapes, CD’s, books, cash, etc.) from the vehicle when possible. If you can’t take them out, put them in a place that is out of view (in the trunk or tool box)
- Remove “pull-out” style stereos and/or removable faceplates of stereos. (if equipped)
- Park in lighted areas.
- Park in garages or on driveways or near your house or apartment so that the vehicle can be viewed periodically.
Other vehicle security considerations:
- Steering wheel lock bar or steering column locking cover.
- “Engine kill” switch.
- Car alarm.
RESIDENTS CAN TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO DETER COYOTE PRESENCE
Coyotes are amazingly adaptable and can survive in nearly any habitat. They arrived in the 1970s and have found a home in parks and preserves and in wooded areas that surround many residential areas.
“As long as residents keep wildlife wild and do not provide easy meals to them, they should not pose a threat to people,” said Dr. Welch Agnew, director of Pinellas County Animal Services. “The problem comes in when people start leaving food outside their homes, or leave trash available, or allow their cats and dogs to roam the neighborhood. Then, we are providing easy meals to wild coyotes, inviting them into our areas and encouraging them to lose their natural fear of humans.”
Residents are reminded to follow simple precautions to prevent the threat of coyotes:
• Never leave pet food or trash outside where it will attract wildlife.
• Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings. This reduces cover for coyotes and their prey, such as rodents and other small animals.
• Protect children. Although rare, coyotes have been known to seriously injure children. Do not leave young children unattended, even in a backyard.
· Protect pets and livestock. These are favorite prey for coyotes. Keep pets indoors, especially at night. When not indoors, keep dogs and cats leashed at all times. There is a Redington Beach Ordinance that prohibits dogs or cats from roaming freely.
• Avoid walking dogs during dawn or dusk hours, which are coyotes’ normal feeding times. Avoid using a retractable leash. Coyotes will notice a dog walked frequently on an extended leash. The coyote will come back, grab the dog, and leave the owner holding an empty leash. When walking a pet, carry a stick, whistle or air horn.
· Use negative reinforcement. Make sure the coyotes know that they are not welcome. Make loud noises, throw rocks in their direction or spray with a garden hose.
If you are experiencing conflicts with coyotes, contact your local FWC Regional Office in the Southwest Region at 863-648-3200.
Follow @MyFWC on Facebook for more wildlife information.
Did you know that trash removal is NOT included in your taxes or your utility bill? Recently there have been several reports of the Town’s trash removal service “skipping” homes that have been receiving regular trash removal for many years. This is most likely due to non-payment. Residents must contact the Town’s trash removal company, Waste Connections, and establish an account to receive trash removal. The fee for this service is billed directly to residents. The Town is asking each resident to ensure that they are receiving a monthly bill from Waste Connections. If not, please call them at 727-572-6800 and establish an account to resume service.
County extends State of Local Emergency through Nov. 6
Oct. 30, 2020
Pinellas County has extended its State of Local Emergency for COVID-19 through Nov. 6. The extension was issued by County Administrator Barry A. Burton by delegated authority from the Board of County Commissioners.
The extension keeps in effect a County ordinance requiring face coverings within public places and restaurants and bars to serve only patrons who are seated. Public health officials continue to closely monitor the 7-day rolling averages for new COVID-19 cases, percentage of positive tests, hospitalizations and hospital bed capacity.
The emergency declaration must be extended every seven days to remain in effect.
- Face coverings still required in indoor public places
- Bar and restaurant customers must be seated to be served
A Pinellas County ordinance put in place to facilitate safe reopenings while slowing the spread of COVID-19 remains in effect Monday, following the announcement of Phase 3 of the state’s Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step phased plan Friday.
Executive Order 20-244, signed Friday by Governor DeSantis, does not impact the local ordinance Pinellas County adopted, including the face covering requirement for indoor facilities and that customers be seated to be served at a bar or restaurant.
While the governor’s order suspends the collection of fines and penalties associated with COVID-19 enforced upon individuals, it does not restrict counties and municipalities from enforcing rules on businesses.
The countywide ordinance 20-14 took effect in June and remains in effect through the duration of Pinellas County’s State of Local Emergency.
The ordinance defines a face covering as a material that covers the nose and mouth and remains affixed or a face shield. A cloth face covering, or mask, may be factory-made or sewn by hand and can be improvised from clothing or other household fabric items.
- Citizens must wear a face covering in indoor public places within Pinellas County, although the Board provided several exceptions. Among them:
- The County ordinance mandate cannot conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- The ordinance does not apply if a person is strictly adhering to social distancing and there are 10 or fewer people in the location who are also maintaining social distancing.
- It does not apply to governmental entities such as schools, courthouses or city halls, although those entities are encouraged to develop procedures to protect employees and the public.
- If a person is under age 18, that person’s use of a face covering to comply with the ordinance is left to the discretion of that person’s parent, guardian or an accompanying adult.
- Religious rituals such as various forms of singing are permitted under the ordinance provided that social distancing is strictly maintained.
- The ordinance does not prohibit exercising while social distancing, such as in a gym, without a face covering.
- Retail employees must wear face coverings unless working in an area of the business that is not open to the customers and has social distancing measures in place.
Bars and Restaurants
Ordinance 20-14, passed by the Board of County Commissioners in June, has specific requirements for restaurants and bars that continue to be in effect in conjunction with the state’s limitations. The ordinance will remain in effect until the Board of County Commissioners repeals it or allows the county’s State of Local Emergency declaration to expire.
- Patrons must be seated to be served drinks for on-site consumption.
- Patrons must wear a face covering except when seated and consuming food or a drink and distanced six feet from other parties.
- Employees must wear a face covering whether directly or indirectly preparing food or drinks, whether having customer contact or not, and whether indoors or outdoors.
- Tables/bar stools must be spaced so that individuals and their companion(s) are separated six feet from others. Tables are limited to 10 guests.
- Standing areas are not allowed. Patrons waiting to be seated must remain distanced in groups of no more than 10 people.
- Bars and restaurants must establish rules that encourage social distancing, hand-washing and other protective measures based on CDC guidance.
- Businesses are reminded that the ordinance does not affect their obligations under federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
While the governor’s executive order Friday did not address public meetings, Executive Order 20-69, which authorized virtual meetings, is currently set to expire at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1.
To read County ordinances and state orders, and access a wide array of COVID-19 information, visit https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.
Pinellas County has created a new website which provides comprehensive information about the County’s COVID response, plus recommendations for citizens, businesses, frequently asked questions, stay-home tips, health information and links to a variety of assistance.