This year's red tide is some of the worst we've ever seen. As a lifelong Floridian, I'm well aware that red tide is something we have to put up with in the warm months, but I don't ever remember it being this bad, or lasting this long.
Red tide has already been present on the beaches in the Ft Myers area for several months, making its way north with the current. Sarasota and Bradenton beaches have been a stinky, fishy mess...the red tide made it to the southern end of Longboat Key last weekend. A friend of mine shared photos of Siesta Key a week ago...the beach was completely deserted, the water was brown, and there were dead fish everywhere. Crews had already removed TONS of dead sealife from the beach, but more has washed up.
Now the red tide has moved north into Tampa Bay. I was in the Bay near Egmont Key on Sunday and the water was fine. It was greener than normal, and not as clear, but there were no dead fish and it didn't stink. Now, there are tons of dead fish floating in Tampa Bay.
If you live or work near the coast, or drive over the Bay Area bridges, prepare for a stinky drive until the red tide leaves the area.