Pinellas: Reporting tool for Red Tide cleanup requests

Pinellas County residents witnessing large numbers of dead fish may now utilize an online tool to request cleanups.

According to a Friday press release, the county activated the online tool as Red Tide continues to affect area waters. The service is for all county areas except the city of St. Petersburg, which has its own reporting portal.

The countywide service can be found by going online to www.PinellasCounty.org/RedTide and clicking on "Pinellas County Red Tide Reporter." From there, click on "Submit a Report" to add the location, type of problem, comments, contact information and photos. Location information can be provided by either typing in an address or creating a point on a map.

The city of St. Petersburg's reporting portal can be accessed by going to www.stpete.org/residents/public_safety/red_tide.php.

Residents are asked to report only dead fish numbering in the hundreds or thousands that are found in the open water or on public property, the press release states. Smaller quantities of dead fish can be disposed of by residents through their regular trash service or in a designated Dumpster. Dumpster locations are shown online at www.PinellasCounty.org/RedTide.

“This simple tool speeds up the response to clean up large quantities of dead fish,” said Pinellas County Public Works Director Kelli Hammer Levy.

The press release states that residents are still encouraged to report fish kills to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which conducts monitoring of the impacts of Red Tide, or Karenia brevis, on various species. Fish kills can be reported to the FWC online at https://public.myfwc.com/FWRI/FishKillReport/Submit.aspx or by calling 1-800-636-0511.

As of Friday afternoon, Pinellas County officials report that Red Tide remains present in low to high concentrations along the beaches from Fort De Soto Park to Honeymoon Island, as well as within the Intracoastal Waterway and Tampa Bay. A contractor hired by the county has 16 vessels conducting cleanups.

Through Thursday, the county reported the removal of 902 tons of Red Tide-related debris.