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Pinellas County Beaches

Clearwater Beach
DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

As more folks flock to Pinellas County beaches now that they’re open, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has launched a tool that will help beach-goers plan their day.

A white sign says "business is open"
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

In two unanimous votes, the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners decided Friday to extend the local state of emergency while allowing some businesses to resume in accordance with Governor Ron DeSantis’s plan to reopen the state.

MARIA TSYRULEVA/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Folks who have been hoping Pinellas County officials will move forward with a plan to reopen the county’s beaches now have a powerful ally.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

An aerial picture of Clearwater Beach.
Pinellas County Marketing and Communications

Pinellas County Commissioners did not vote Thursday on easing restrictions to local beaches, but it’s still under consideration.

A screenshot of multiple pinellas commissioners sitting in their home or offices while on a zoom video conference.
Screenshot of Pinellas County Commission emergency Zoom meeting

Pinellas County commissioners will discuss the possibility of easing beach restrictions during a meeting on Thursday.

The subject came up at a Monday meeting where commissioners extended a local state of emergency until Friday. That order includes the continued closure of public beaches and beach parking areas.

video still of beachgoers
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

The Pinellas County Commission voted unanimously to close public beaches and parking areas effective 11:59 p.m. Friday and lasting until April 6th.

Stephen Splane / WUSF Public Media

While the fish kills have stopped washing up on Pinellas County beaches, red tide is still an ongoing problem in the area. The Board of Commissioners voted recently on an agreement with the state that would give the county an additional three million dollars for red tide cleanup.

Bethany Tyne / WUSF Public Media

A group of hospitality workers, fishermen, a surf shop owner and scientists gathered Wednesday to share their concerns about the damage red tide is having on the environment and local businesses.

Stephen Splane / WUSF Public Media

It's been about a month since red tide first made its way to Pinellas County, but not much has been seen in the last few weeks. That was until Hurricane Michael passed through earlier this week and pushed the algae bloom closer to shore.