Red tide washes up sea-life on southwest Florida shores
Testing has confirmed the presence of red tide in Miami-Dade, causing the closing of beaches north of Haulover Inlet, the county announced early Thursday morning.
Haulover Inlet is in North Miami-Dade, around 10800 Collins Ave., north of Bal Harbour.
The algae problem usually doesn’t appear on Florida’s East Coast, but did last weekend in Palm Beach County, where beaches were closed during the weekend. This prompted Miami-Dade County and Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to take water samples for testing Tuesday.
“The county received results late Wednesday indicating that elevated levels of algae linked to red tide have been detected in our area,” the alert from Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s office read.
Detection of red tide in Miami-Dade moves the algae to Florida’s most populous county, and marks a significant escalation of a crisis that had until recently been confined to the West Coast. Local officials began dreading test confirmations after the algae spread to the counties of Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie, where beaches were closed this week and fish began turning up dead on the coast.
Scientists believe the blooms, which first appeared in the Gulf of Mexico off Sarasota nearly a year ago, got swept into the Gulf’s Loop Current, which connects to the Florida Currentand flows north along the Atlantic coast. In August and September, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration satellites detected some evidence of the algae west of the remote Marquesas Islands near the Dry Tortugas, suggesting the algae could have flowed south of the Keys.
Red tide is a naturally occurring algae, which can be made worse by coastal pollution. The Atlantic coast rarely sees red tide because algae that cause it live off the Gulf Coast at the bottom of the Florida shelf. Over the summer and fall, blooms ravaged Gulf shores, shutting down beaches and crippling businesses.