With Red Tide persisting, Pinellas County has initiated cleanup of dead marine life from the county’s beaches. Crews will begin work late today or on Wednesday.

Satellite imagery shows a patchy bloom of Red Tide off the Pinellas County coast. Forecasting models show it moving north for the next seven to 10 days. Fish kills have been reported in several locations on the gulf beaches and within the Intracoastal Waterway and Boca Ciega Bay. A new GIS map shows the latest water sample testing data from both the County and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Even when Red Tide is present off the Pinellas County coast, it is not necessarily present at all beaches. Residents and visitors can check beach conditions at www.beachesupdate.com and via the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast Tool.

Red Tide kills marine life by producing a potent toxin that affects the central nervous system of the fish. The toxin can also affect birds, sea turtles, mammals and other marine animals. In humans, Red Tide can also cause respiratory symptoms in people such as eye, nose, and throat irritation similar to cold symptoms. Some individuals with breathing problems such as asthma might experience more severe symptoms. Usually symptoms go away when a person leaves the area or goes indoors.