Beachgoers: Heed Precautions After Confirmed Red Tide Conditions Along Portions of Brevard Shoreline

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BREVARD COUNTY, FL. – Beachgoers in southern areas of Brevard County are advised to take precautions following confirmation Wednesday of red tide conditions that have tested at a high level in Satellite Beach and been detected at medium to lower levels along other beaches in the southern part of the county, according to tests results released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC).

The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday issued advisories to warn beachgoers of potential health impacts of red tide. More information can be found at this link: http://brevard.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2018/10/red-tide-2018-10-17.html.

Red tide is commonly used to describe a higher-than-normal concentration of microscopic algae in the water that can kill fish and can also cause a variety of health-related conditions, ranging from eye, nose and throat irritation to more serious issues for people with chronic respiratory conditions. The current red tide began on the state’s west coast and gradually worked its way south. More recently, the red tide has moved up the east coast of the state and into Brevard County. Earlier this week, sporadic sightings of dead fish were reported along with some air quality complaints from beachgoers .

Brevard County Government’s Natural Resources Management Department, in coordination with FWC, collected water samples to detect for the presence of red tide on Tuesday, Oct. 16,  along Brevard County beaches. Testing locations included Juan Ponce de Leon Park in south Melbourne Beach, Nance Park in Indialantic, Pelican Park in Satellite Beach and Murkshe Park in Cocoa Beach.

Test results on Wednesday indicated medium levels of red tide off the shoreline in Indialantic (600,450 Karenia brevis cells per liter) and Melbourne Beach (312.000 at Spessard Holland South and 126,000 at Juan Ponce de Leon) and at a high level (1.35 million) in Pelican Beach Park in Satellite Beach.  Some test results are still pending in other areas  along the beach in Brevard County.

Brevard County Government’s Natural Resources Department, along with the Tourist Development Council (TDC), Florida Department of Health, FWC and the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute have been monitoring conditions and working on a response plan, depending on the severity of red tide conditions. Beaches will remain open, though signage warning of red tide conditions will be posted.  Beachgoers who sense respiratory issues should leave the beach.

The TDC is working with hoteliers and attractions and other council members to redirect visitors to other beach areas or the numerous other attractions in the area that can be enjoyed without exposure to the impacts of red tide.

The Florida Department of Health has posted answers to frequently asked questions about red tide and its health risks at this link: http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins/red-tide.html.

Information can also be found at this FWC link: http://www.myfwc.com/research/redtide/contact/.

VISIT FLORIDA provides visitors up-to-date beach condition reports here: http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/ and visitbeaches.org. Also, for a VISIT FLORIDA red tide FAQ, including seafood safety information, visit https://www.visitflorida.org/resources/crisis-preparation/red-tide-information.<br>

For more information contact:

Don Walker

Brevard County Information

Don.Walker@brevardfl.com

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