‘It’s changed our way of life’: Red tide smell ruining downtown St. Petersburg, residents say

Red Tide

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Red Tide is relentless at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg.

Just ask Keith Scott who used to work out at the park every day, but now – not so much

“It’s affecting our daily living, this is part of my life here, this is my release,” said Keith Scott.

For this 57-year-old, his way of keeping healthy and in shape now has a different look.

He now hits the city streets to work out by running because the beach is so bad.

“It’s getting worse and worse every day, we have to work out with masks on,” he told 8 On Your Side.

Scott and many others say red tide has ruined what people consider paradise, where spending time outside is, indeed, a way of life.

It’s also made them physically sick, like Tanya Bayda, who has never had a problem until now.

“Normally, I’m incredibly healthy. I’m always involved in physical activates. I roller skate, I kayak, I play soccer,” she said.

Tanya says for her, the side effects from red tide have been serious.

“It’s a persistent cough, like a really heavy congested feeling, like a pressure in your chest,” she explained.

For some, even taking the dog for a walk is a tough task, as dead fish litter the sand and their smell litters the air.

“If a door in my house is open, the kids go to close it quickly because it smells so bad outside,” St. Petersburg resident Anandea Bergeron said.

A smell, some fear, will stay all summer.

Pinellas County officials tell us work crews have cleaned up more than 600 tons of dead fish.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin, and City Administrators will host a press conference on Wednesday at 10 a.m. to discuss the impact of red tide on the shores of St. Petersburg.

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