By JENNIFER HUDAK
On Thursday, Miami-Dade County officials received notice that the red tide, a toxic algae bloom that has plagued the southwest coast of Florida, was found on parts of South Florida’s East Coast beaches.
In addition, residents and tourists have been warned to avoid the beach area as the King Tide, expected from Oct. 6-13, will push these toxic algae further inland.
The red tide, which is caused by the bacteria Karenia brevis, can cause respiratory issues in humans and kill fish. These fish then push onshore, creating a foul odor and unpleasant experience for beach-goers. Much of the southwest coast of Florida, spanning from Naples to St. Petersburg, has suffered major blows to their tourism industries.
Samples of water from Haulover Beach were taken in for lab testing. The results came back this week testing positive with a “medium concentration” of algae found.
Other, smaller portions of algae were found in the water on Key Biscayne and Miami Beach, the numbers were not significant enough to close beaches.
Miami-Dade will be testing more beaches this week to assure that more locations haven’t been impacted.
While officials can’t confirm how the toxic algae made its way to the East Coast, scientists assume small portions of it were carried through the ocean’s current.
The red tide could take anywhere from a week to many months to leave an area depending on weather factors such as wind, tide and temperature conditions.
For now, residents and tourists with severe respiratory issues or other health concerns are advised to avoid the beach areas affected.