Red Tide Update October 30, 2018

Indian River County is still experiencing red tide conditions and all beaches in Indian River County will remain closed until further notice. 

General Updates:

  • Yesterday the winds were mainly out north.
  • There was no significant amount of new fish washing ashore nor respiratory discomfort.
  • Water samples were collected at beaches and shipped to FWC.

 Progress as of the end of day Monday:

  • The contractor has cleared approximately 16.5 miles of 22.5 miles of countywide shoreline.
  • To date, approximately 132,000 pounds of waste have been removed from IRC beaches.

Red Tide Update

Indian River County is still experiencing Red Tide conditions and all beaches in Indian River County will remain closed until further notice.

The County’s marine debris removal contractor initiated debris removal last Saturday.

  • There continues to be large amounts of dead fish washing ashore (mainly mullet, Jack, lookdowns, snapper, grouper, puffer, eels, tropical fish) along the county from the winds and high surf.
  • The contractor anticipates being able to clean approximately 1 – 1 ½ miles per day.

Progress as of the end of day Thursday:

  • The contractor has cleared approximately 9.5 miles of the 22.5 miles of countywide shoreline.
  • The total weight removed is approximately 82,000 pounds.

Anticipated work today (Friday):

  • Focusing on the northern part of the county: Treasures Shores Park and Turtle Beach Park 2-3 miles north and south of the parks.

Weather Conditions:

  • A front working through our area will change the winds to SSW 5-15 mph with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Winds Saturday will be out of the west at 5 to 10 mph.
  • Winds Sunday will turn back around from the north at 10 to 15 mph with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Hopefully, this change in winds will be enough to blow the red tide back out to sea.

Per the recommendation of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), we will be testing water samples twice weekly.

Red Tide Cautions

Protective Actions:

All people are encouraged to follow the recommendations provided by the Department of Health:

  • People, especially those with respiratory issues, are encouraged to stay away from the beaches if possible until further notice. Persons may experience throat irritation and/or coughing if directly exposed to Red Tide.
  • Higher wind or tides can spread Red Tide more quickly.
  • Dead fish are not to be eaten! Be cautious with any fish caught from the southeastern coast of Florida.
  • Do not consume shellfish of any kind caught in this area until the Red Tide passes.
  • The Indian River County Emergency Information Center is open to take your questions from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. today.  Please call 772-226-4000.
  • For general information on harmful algal blooms occurring in Florida and current status reports by the state, please visit these links:

Red Tide Cleanup

The Red Tide is still present in Indian River County and cleanup operations are in effect. All of the beaches in our county remain closed. The image below shows where the cleanup operations are taking place. On the Indian River County beaches, the toxic effects of Red Tide has mostly been fish kill and the clean up contractor will remove 10-15,000 lbs of dead fish off the beaches per day.

With a continuing East wind, Red Tide is expected to linger on our beaches for more days!

Red Tide

What is Red Tide?

There are numerous microscopic algae in the ocean and they are essential components to ocean life but when they are supplied with excess nutrients, they multiply uncontrollably, and can become an unwanted toxic mass commonly called a “red tide” or harmful algal blooms. (HAB)

What Causes Red Tide?

This is still being investigated but some marine scientist believe the up welling of nutrients from the sea floor from massive storms is most likely the cause of these events.

Dinoflagellates are major producers of oxygen in the ocean (and freshwater). But some species can grow out of control, causing a red tide.(2004 Smithsonian Institution)

For a more detailed and reference filled description of red tide see Wikipedia:
Wikipedia and Red Tide
  Red tide has invaded Indian River County. Watch this news report: