As the red tide crisis continues to impact the Tampa Bay area, members of the community are helping to clean up fish killed by the algae. A local state of emergency is in effect in Manatee County where a cleanup is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
The cleanup will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Palma Sola Causeway in Bradenton. County officials say there are fish that are hard to reach and they need to give the area extra attention.
Cleanups have gone on for weeks in Manatee County and residents are doing what they can to try and get their once-beautiful beaches back.
With every passing day, more dead fish are washing to shore. Manatee County officials approved a state of emergency, so when relief funding becomes available, the county will be able to apply for it. In the meanwhile, fisherman are taking a huge hit and trying to figure out what they can do next.
“Everybody’s got to band together on this one and try to get something done. We definitely need to, as a brotherhood of fisherman, do whatever we need to band together and get something done. Your tourism will be next. Why would the people want to come here if you can’t even go fishing,” said a local fisherman.
While red tide started south of Manatee, it continues to creep north. Red tide is now impacting Pinellas County beaches. Even in Pasco County, shrimpers are hurting. The demand for the bait they sell is plummeting because people don’t want to go fishing.
At Wednesday’s cleanup, volunteers will be provided with gloves, a mask, a garbage bag and a pitch fork.
There will be another cleanup on Thursday, August 23 at 7:30 a.m. at Perico Preserve.