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Red tide is not choking spring break activities on Clearwater Beach

A group of young women pose on a beach.
Daylina Miller
/
WUSF Public Media
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.

READ MORE: What the early arrival of red tide could mean for spring break across the Tampa Bay area

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.

Sign warning visitors of red tide
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.

Daylina Miller
/
WUSF Public Media

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.
I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.