Red Tide Hits Area Beaches

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has confirmed the presence of red tide in the coastal waters of Broward County at 9 sampling locations.  Low concentrations of the algae Karenia Brevis were found in waters off Johnson State Park and Hallandale beach while “very” low concentrations were found at Deerfield, Pompano, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fort Lauderdale, and Hollywood Beaches.

This algae is rare on the East Coast as it prefers the calmer waters of the Gulf. However, of the 57 occurrences of red tide in the Gulf of Mexico since 1953, eight of these events have brought the red tide organism to the east coast of Florida via the Loop Current and Gulf Stream. None of these events resulted in large-scale blooms.

There are currently no beach closures within Broward County; however, local municipalities are being proactive with the posting of cautionary signage informing the public about the potential presence of red tide. The FWC advises beachgoers to use their best judgment when visiting a beach impacted by red tide.

According to State Health officials, low and moderate concentrations can produce allergy-like symptoms, such as scratchy throat or watery eyes. Individuals with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COPD, should take measures to reduce exposure. We might also expect an increase in local fish kills.

Red Tide can last just a few weeks or potentially up to a year. The active Atlantic sea currents typically reduce the impact and duration of Red Tide Events on the East Coast.

The FWC has up to the minute info at here.