“We’re covering all of Pinellas County, all 35 miles of beachline, all of the intercoastal waterways,” cleanup contractor Jay Gunter of DRC Emergency Services told FOX 13 of Tampa Bay. “Anything where the red tide fish kill might have had an effect, we’re cleaning them.”
Pinellas County, with a population of nearly 1 million people, lies just west of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast and includes communities such as Clearwater and St. Petersburg.
The area has seen a period of “red tide,” a natural occurrence in which algal blooms discolor the water and lead to a high presence of microorganisms, resulting in fish kills. Red tide can often affect the quality of shellfish that humans may consume afterward, resulting in a risk of illness.