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Red tide is not choking spring break activities on Clearwater Beach

Daylina Miller
A group of friends gather at Clearwater Beach on March 14, 2023.

Favorable wind and weather conditions are reducing red tide's effect on Clearwater Beach.

Spring break is in full swing on beaches in the greater Tampa Bay region — and even cooler temperatures and a red tide outbreak can't get visitors down.

On Tuesday, red tide warning signs were still posted on Clearwater Beach, but because of changing winds and lower temperatures, the algae bloom effects were negligible.

Even people who had been in the area long enough to feel the effects weren't going to be robbed of their beach time.

"Like, we cough, sometimes, and our eyes burn, but it's not that bad. It's nothing. Red tide is fake," joked Natalie Paulsen of Davenport, Iowa, who was cruising the beach with a bunch of her friends on their high school senior trip.

 Signs along Clearwater Beach warn visitors of red tide on March 14, 2023.
Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media
Signs along Clearwater Beach warn visitors of red tide on March 14, 2023.

Grace Schinker, who moved to the Tampa Bay region two years ago from Wisconsin, was setting up beach chairs at a rental hut. She said Clearwater Beach was handling the red tide well.

"The weathermen are always great with letting us know where the red tide is at and where the wind is pushing it," Schinker said.

Courtney McDonald of Clearwater Beach Yoga had just wrapped up an almost full class Tuesday morning and said red tide problems have been minimal. Daily classes have been pretty full, she said, despite red tide.

"Overall we've done pretty well, explained McDonald. "We'll notice, like a cough, at the end of class. But we've been all right."

Melissa Ziegler, a college student from Wisconsin, said she and her friends visiting town have felt the effects of red tide.

"The first day that we got here we, kind of, experienced some coughing a bit from it, our eyes got a little irritated when we went into the water, but other than that we've been pretty fine."

And, Ziegler added, the red tide effects are not enough to stop her from hitting the beach.

"No, No," she said with a laugh.

Copyright 2023 WUSF 89.7

Craig Kopp is relatively new to Florida and the Tampa Bay area. The veteran broadcaster and writer spent the majority of his 30 year career in Ohio.
Daylina Miller is a multimedia reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida, covering health in the Tampa Bay area and across the state.