TAMPA, Fla. – Massive amounts of dead fish are washing onshore across Tampa Bay. Several beaches are closed and crews are racing to clean up the smelly, decaying mess.
Bay Area experts say it’s happening because of red tide, but it’s early in the season to see such high concentrations of the algae.
The city of Tampa shut down the dog beach at Picnic Island Park Friday. The Tampa Bay Estuary Program says, in the wake of Hurricane Elsa, the levels of red tide are actually higher in Tampa Bay.
Baitfish, sport fish, stingrays, even dolphins and manatees, all killed by red tide, piled up Friday.
“I think many people had high hopes that Elsa might either wash the red tide out of the bay or the winds might break up the red tide organisms. Unfortunately, that’s not really what we’ve seen,” explained Maya Burke, the assistant director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.