INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Red tide is causing problems at Tampa Bay beaches as it creeps up the west coast of Florida.
In Pinellas County, the toxic blooms have prompted the cancellation of a popular event, the Indian Rocks BeachFest.
On Wednesday, beachgoers at Indian Rocks Beach said the conditions weren’t as bad.
“The first day we got here we had a little coughing. The last two or three days it’s been excellent,” said Neil Topper, who was visiting from Massachusetts with his wife.
“It’s a day-to-day deal,” said Mike Fowler, who owns IRB Chairs, and puts out a daily red tide update on his business’ Facebook page. “It definitely has impacted us. March is our busiest month.”
Organizers announced the festival’s cancellation this week. The event was scheduled for April, but with red tide forecasted to remain in the area for weeks, organizers say they had no choice.
“We can’t take the chance put all the security deposits down and then have to at the last minute, have to pull the plug,” said Fowler, who is also the Vice President of the IRB Homeowners Association. “It could actually dissolve our association. It would be a big hit to us.”
BeachFest is the associations largest fundraiser, and all of the money raised goes back into the community, which has made the cancellation a tough loss.
“It’s a big loss, and we just won’t have the funds at the end of the year that we were typically have,” said Fowler.