Red tide leaving Tampa Bay, intensifies on beaches

St. Petersburg City Council’s tone this week was much more relaxed when it came to red tide.  

"What a difference a week makes," said council chair Ed Montanari.  

Satellite imagery presented during Thursday afternoon’s city council meeting showed red tide concentrations moving south out of the bay.

St. Pete is now allowing its 200 workers, who stepped up to remove tons of dead marine animals, to get back to other city projects that had to be put off. 

"We are giving our staff a much-needed break," said Claude Tankersley, public works administrator. 

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The toxic algae blooms are moving out of the bay towards the 35-mile stretch of Pinellas County beaches and Thursday, high concentrations could be felt from Egmont Key all the way up to North Reddington.

Medium concentrations were present from Indian Rocks Beach to Honeymoon Island. 

There is concern that wind patterns next week could blow the algae back into the bay, but Dr. Leanne Flewelling, a scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, says the effects hopefully wouldn’t be as intense. 

"I have no crystal ball but I would hope, at this point, if the cells were beginning to be moved into Tampa Bay that it wouldn’t result in the same type of bloom that we had just a few weeks ago," she said.