Phone calls, email questions, chat conversations, everybody is concerned about Clearwater Beach red tide! This summer from a few miles south of us all the way to the Florida Keys. The news about the incredibly horrible red tide on the Florida Gulf Coast has everyone’s attention. And we are talking worldwide, not just visitors from the United States. Travelers from around the planet Earth want to know what is happening on a day to day basis. They NEED to know if they are on their way to visit. And we who live and work here, especially when we provide week-long paradise vacation rentals, we all need to know exactly what is going on at every moment.
Good news is that as of 9:00 pm on August 22nd, 2018, the red tide has remained south of us all year. (See current beach conditions here.) In fact, Clearwater Beach has always been on the very north end of the possibilities and to this point has had zero impact from the red tide. The only impact Clearwater Beach has seen is a very quiet late summer tourist season with a fraction of the people on the beach we’d normally see. That makes it nice to be on the beach as a visitor, however, local businesses are cutting hours and making adjustments to survive.
In all honesty, red tide has been detected off our coast at concentrations that are way below any harmful effects to fish or humans, but even though it is there, it is struggling to thrive being this late in the summer. NOTE to locals: Please do not wash your cars in your driveways, do not fertilize your lawns, do not put any phosphates, soap, fertilizer, dead lawn or plant debris into your sewer drains, or do ANYTHING to feed that late summer, hopefully, starving evil bacteria!
Red tide needs food, and we humans tend to feed it. Fortunately here in Pinellas County, we have rules to help prevent pouring red tide nutrients into the waters off our coast during our main sunny season (June 1st to September 1st). It seems to help, but some areas south of us have been careless. Even so, we have been OK here. Every summer there is usually some detectable red tide as it is a natural occurrence. This year there were some out of the ordinary circumstances down south that threw the typical natural balance way off. Last summer we had some red tide drifting a few miles off our coast and it was our biggest worry…until Hurricane Irma. Of course a good hurricane will always blast away a red tide bloom, and we all forgot about red tide after Irma. Our focus was getting our power back on, having the damage cleaned up, and to eventually recover from the huge news media public image disaster. But the red tide was gone and we never gave it a thought.
That said, we did have a little business boom when Siesta Key, Sarasota, and sadly, Sanibel Island were totally impossible to visit and everybody was moving north. However, speaking of news media image disasters, the recent “red tide” hype on every news outlet around the world has impacted us here on Clearwater Beach and we have not even had any effects at all so far. Swimming in the Gulf is totally on, sitting on the soft sands of Clearwater Beach with no bad smells, no dead fish, we are 100% paradise beach!
By the way, as of this post, we only have a handful of open units from now through mid-November. But call us at 727-461-1123 to see what is available. Our refund policy is that we’ll refund any and every day the beach is not healthy or pleasant due to red tide effects.
The main Florida resource for the red tide is the “Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission” (or FWC for short) red tide web page. The FWC website is, for the most part, the primary resource we locals and most news media refer to.
It typically updates once a week, on Fridays. Lately, it does provide an update during mid-week, but it has not been consistent. This website is considered the State “authority”, but that’s not 100% the case. So we locals have a few more resources we can check several times a day.
Clearwater Beach is located in the “northern” part of Pinellas County. Pinellas County has its own red tide report web page that is the most up-to-date resource for we on the Pinellas County beaches.
The world famous Mote Aquarium in Sarasota has a great beach condition web page that also provides current reports of red tide, dead fish on beaches, weather conditions, etc.
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