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Water-Related News

Respiratory problems from Red Tide possible at some Pinellas beaches, officials warn

Handfuls of dead fish were scattered at Pass-a-Grille Beach Wednesday and Thursday as Red Tide creeps into the area.

Federal ocean scientists warned the public Thursday morning that some beaches in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties may have a moderate-to-high risk of respiratory irritation through Friday night. The advisory, issued by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science at 9 a.m., said the risk of respiratory irritation was possible for the next 36 hours.

At Pass-a-Grille Beach specifically, state water samplers detected a “medium” concentration of the Red-Tide-causing Karenia brevis organism Wednesday, according to the latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission data. At that level (between 100,000 and 1,000,000 cells per liter), fish kills are probable — and there’s a chance for respiratory irritation, the agency says.