Pinellas County pass ordinance banning horses in the Bay, will Bradenton do the same?

Horses Impacting Bacteria in Waterways

BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - No swim advisory, sounds familiar?

The Palma Sola Bay has been known to have fecal bacteria causing several no swim advisories this year. Some say it’s due to horseback riding tours that happen in that water nearly everyday.

Just around the corner in Pinellas County, commissioners approved an ordinance to do away with horseback riding in the waters of the bay. So will the City of Bradenton follow their lead?

ABC7 spoke to Ward 1 Councilman Gene Gallo. He says this issue has been discussed over and over, going back to about 10 years now. He says the City of Bradenton does not have plans to put any type of ordinance in place to stop horseback riding in the Palma Sola Bay because the causeway on both sides going into the water is under Florida Department of Transportation’s jurisdiction.

ABC7 also to the owner of Great World Adventures, just one company that offers rides nearly every day. Tim Mattox says although he hopes no ordinance banning horseback riding goes into effect he does want some type of ordinance to regulate the industry.

“So we’ve been concerned about some of the problems for some time. There’s a competitor that does not clean up after her horses. My people resent having to clean up after other people’s horses. I think some type of regulation is definitely needed,” says Mattox.

The Florida Department of Health of Manatee says so far this year alone there have been three no swim advisories based on 31 samples collected.

There is no way to determine if the advisories are directly linked to the horses.

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