Effects of red tide noticed at Sand Key Park in Clearwater

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Red tide is still affecting beaches across Pinellas County.

There wasn’t the normal crowd out at Sand Key Park on Saturday.

“Maybe they got here and turned around. I figured we’d hang out for a little bit,” said Allen VonDoltren.

VonDoltren drove from Orlando to enjoy the beach, not expecting to run into red tide.

“When I walked to the water, I noticed all the dead fish on the beach. I didn’t go in the water, and I’m not going to go in the water. Like I said I might not even stay here for the sunset now because I have asthma and it’s affecting my breathing,” he said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported a medium concentration of the blooms at Sand Key Park.

“It’ll be better when it’s gone, for sure,” he said.

While some like VonDoltren said it’s disrupting their beach time, Bill Kreiling told 8 On Your Side he’s used to it.

“We’ve had red tide every year now for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, for the beachgoers and the people who come from up north to enjoy it, it’s something they’re not used to,” Kreiling said.

Pinellas County waived parking fees for beachgoers Saturday. Clearwater officials say the red tide issues are not enough to shut down beaches at this time.

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