The red tide bloom that has killed uncounted numbers of fish and marine life has decreased in Tampa Bay. But high concentrations of the organism that causes red tide is now being found along the Gulf Coast, from Hernando to Sarasota counties.
The latest report from state environmental officials shows the organism has been found in 109 sites. High concentrations were found at 27 sites in Sarasota County; 12 in Pinellas; seven in Pasco; and three each in Hillsborough and Manatee counties.
The highest concentrations were found off Redington, Madeira and Upham beaches in Pinellas County; Terra Ceia in Manatee County; and in Sarasota at New Pass, Bird Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key, Turtle Beach and Nokomis.
Fish kills have been reported the past week in Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
In hard-hit St. Petersburg, so many city workers were re-assigned to clean up dead fish that essential city services are being affected. City officials said there is now a month-long backup of city services because of the red tide cleanup.