ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — More than nine tons of dead fish were removed from a Florida city’s beaches after being pushed to shore by Tropical Storm Elsa.
More than 120 employees of the City of St. Petersburg worked to remove the dead fish tonnage within a 24-hour period from its coast, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The fish were killed by red tide algae blooms off the coast of Florida. The tropical storm pushed them to shore.
St. Pete crews are working hard to clear our waterways. To report a fish kill/red tide, please visit https://t.co/HNKpn6RubX. https://t.co/aoQa1tG5mL— St. Petersburg, FL (@StPeteFL) July 9, 2021
“You look at Elsa and that push of water from the wind seems to have definitely pushed in more of the fish kill,” Amber Boulding, the city’s emergency manager, told the Times.
There are several high concentrations of Karenia brevis, the microorganism which causes red tide blooms, off the coast of Florida.
Boulding said a larger amount of fish have died so far than during the 2017-19 red tide outbreak that saw 1,800 tons of dead fish removed from area beaches and severely hurt tourism to the region. Throughout Pinellas County, 427 tons of dead marine life and debris have been removed because of red tide blooms.
“It’s very serious,” Boulding said.
Phenomenal job by our city team getting dead fish out of our waterways & beaches, but we need backup. Calling in our debris removal contractor to help (usually we use them for storm debris). Big thanks to Pinellas Co. for stepping up to help & we’ve contacted @GovRonDesantis.— Rick Kriseman (@Kriseman) July 10, 2021
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