Fort DeSoto North Beach

Tierra Verde, Florida

The natural integrity and beauty of Ft. Desoto beach has been preserved. This is an ideal location for a family beach weekend that can be educational, adventurous and relaxing.

Ft. Desoto is a collection of islands located off the tip of Pinellas county at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Some of the first inhabitants in the area were the Tocobaga Indians. In 1539 Hernado De Soto and his conquistadors arrived in Tampa Bay. De Soto's arrival began the exploration of the Southeastern US by the Spanish and the subsequent conquest of the native people. In 1898, the US became involved in a conflict with Cuba which led to the Spanish-American war. The residents of Tampa Bay demanded protection and it quickly became the port of embarkation for US troops. In 1899, workers began making the fort out of shells, cement and stone. When completed the wall was 8-20 feet thick. Ft. Desoto was never a site for any major battle, and after WWII the fort was sold to Pinellas County. Today, beach visitors can visit and tour the fort.

Other activities for beach goers include 7 miles of waterfront, 238 camping sites, 15 picnic sites, an 800 foot boat launch, dog park, canoe trail, nature walking trails, seven miles of paved trail, and swim centers with concession, restrooms, and lifeguard on duty during the summer.

This site is an excellent example of what Florida looked like pre-settlement. It's 1,136 acres is home to wetlands, mangroves, palm hammocks, and hardwoods. It is also a nesting site for 209 species of birds and the loggerhead sea turtle.

Visitors are asked to help preserve the integrity of the beach. Admission is a daily parking fee of $5 and annual passes are also available.

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time

  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 7th, 2021. Tampa Bay Waterkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 29th, 2021 at 7:39 AM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
29°C
A mix of sun and clouds
Monitoring Frequency

Fort DeSoto North Beach is sampled weekly from January 1st to December 31st.

Source Information

Water quality results displayed at this location were collected by the City of St. Petersburg Environmental Compliance Division. Weekly testing is conducted on Wednesday and results are usually posted on Thursday. If the test indicates sub-par water quality, testing will be performed again the following day. Results of the second test will be posted on Friday. If the second test still indicates poor quality, an advisory will be issued for the sampling site.

City of St. Petersburg tests for levels of enterococci, a type of bacteria that indicates that pathogenic bacteria and viruses associated with fecal pollution may be present. These bacteria are known as fecal indicator bacteria (FIB).

Florida Administrative Code, based on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria have the following rating criteria: Good= 0-35 CFU/MPN enterococci / 100 mL of marine water; Moderate= 36-70 CFU/MPN enterococci / 100 mL of marine water; and Poor= 71 CFU/MPN or greater enterococci / 100 mL of marine water.

Swim Guide uses the thresholds for water quality based on the Florida Administrative Code.
A beach is marked green (pass) when the sample results are equal or below 70 Enterococci / 100 ML water. A beach is marked red(fail) when the sample results are above 70 Enterococci / 100 ML water, according to EPA water quality guidelines. Data more than a week old will revert to “historical status”; clicking the pie chart icon will reveal a summary of the prior yearly or monthly pass/fail data. A sampling location is marked grey when no current or reliable monitoring information is available.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

Fort DeSoto North Beach

Tierra Verde, Florida

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 7th, 2021. Tampa Bay Waterkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 29th, 2021 at 7:39 AM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
29°C
A mix of sun and clouds

The natural integrity and beauty of Ft. Desoto beach has been preserved. This is an ideal location for a family beach weekend that can be educational, adventurous and relaxing.

Ft. Desoto is a collection of islands located off the tip of Pinellas county at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Some of the first inhabitants in the area were the Tocobaga Indians. In 1539 Hernado De Soto and his conquistadors arrived in Tampa Bay. De Soto's arrival began the exploration of the Southeastern US by the Spanish and the subsequent conquest of the native people. In 1898, the US became involved in a conflict with Cuba which led to the Spanish-American war. The residents of Tampa Bay demanded protection and it quickly became the port of embarkation for US troops. In 1899, workers began making the fort out of shells, cement and stone. When completed the wall was 8-20 feet thick. Ft. Desoto was never a site for any major battle, and after WWII the fort was sold to Pinellas County. Today, beach visitors can visit and tour the fort.

Other activities for beach goers include 7 miles of waterfront, 238 camping sites, 15 picnic sites, an 800 foot boat launch, dog park, canoe trail, nature walking trails, seven miles of paved trail, and swim centers with concession, restrooms, and lifeguard on duty during the summer.

This site is an excellent example of what Florida looked like pre-settlement. It's 1,136 acres is home to wetlands, mangroves, palm hammocks, and hardwoods. It is also a nesting site for 209 species of birds and the loggerhead sea turtle.

Visitors are asked to help preserve the integrity of the beach. Admission is a daily parking fee of $5 and annual passes are also available.

Monitoring Frequency

Fort DeSoto North Beach is sampled weekly from January 1st to December 31st.

Source Information

Water quality results displayed at this location were collected by the City of St. Petersburg Environmental Compliance Division. Weekly testing is conducted on Wednesday and results are usually posted on Thursday. If the test indicates sub-par water quality, testing will be performed again the following day. Results of the second test will be posted on Friday. If the second test still indicates poor quality, an advisory will be issued for the sampling site.

City of St. Petersburg tests for levels of enterococci, a type of bacteria that indicates that pathogenic bacteria and viruses associated with fecal pollution may be present. These bacteria are known as fecal indicator bacteria (FIB).

Florida Administrative Code, based on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria have the following rating criteria: Good= 0-35 CFU/MPN enterococci / 100 mL of marine water; Moderate= 36-70 CFU/MPN enterococci / 100 mL of marine water; and Poor= 71 CFU/MPN or greater enterococci / 100 mL of marine water.

Swim Guide uses the thresholds for water quality based on the Florida Administrative Code.
A beach is marked green (pass) when the sample results are equal or below 70 Enterococci / 100 ML water. A beach is marked red(fail) when the sample results are above 70 Enterococci / 100 ML water, according to EPA water quality guidelines. Data more than a week old will revert to “historical status”; clicking the pie chart icon will reveal a summary of the prior yearly or monthly pass/fail data. A sampling location is marked grey when no current or reliable monitoring information is available.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

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