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Sunday, Sep 23, 2018
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Does Red Tide have you worried about making beach plans? Check these websites for the latest.

The sun will be out and the humidity bearable this weekend, at least thatís the forecast. But Red tide has reached the Tampa bay area, and no one wants to drive all the way out to the beach just to find piles of dead fish and their day ruined.

Beach conditions change all the time. The shore might be clear one day, then overnight the remnants of a fish kill wash up on the sand. There are ways to protect weekend plans, however.

Visitbeaches.org run out of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, updates a map with brief reports on conditions at beaches along the Southwest coast of Florida twice a day.

"Red Tide blooms can be patchy. Conditions can be different at a beach 30 minutes away, which is why knowing conditions at each location is so useful," said Mote spokesperson Stephannie Kettle.

The site flags potential signs of Red Tide in the area, including respiratory irritation and dead fish. But itís also useful in general for other beach information ó not just during Red Tide season ó such as temperature, surf conditions and even crowds.

Tiffany Rice, who was visiting St. Pete Beach on Thursday, said she didnít see signs of a fish kill. Still, the air smelled slightly fishy. That information is not on the Mote site. But visitstpeteclearwater.com has that covered.

Kelli Levy, Pinellasí director of environmental management, said county staff collect observational data twice a day, on respiratory irritation, water clarity and whether it stinks.

Yeah, thereís a web page for that.

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