MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission is testing the water in Deerfield Beach for Red Tide.
The City of Deerfield Beach released the information on their twitter page. They said results should be back Wednesday.
If Red Tide is confirmed, city officials said they would close the pier and put up the red, “No Swimming” flags.
Palm Beach County officials also confirmed Monday the presence of red tide in their coastal waters.
On Monday afternoon, the county said in a press release: “According to samples taken by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Karenia Brevis organism, which is the species that causes most red tides in Florida, is at least present within the coastal waters of Palm Beach County. What is still unknown at this time is how high of a concentration is currently in the water. More information will be released upon final results. Additional information will be released this afternoon regarding the status of Palm Beach County beaches.”
“It’s very, very rare on the east coast of Florida,” said Dr. Bill Louda who is a biochemist at Florida Atlantic University. “It usually starts in the Gulf of Mexico and if the winds and currents are correct it will be get blown in shore and then takes off.”
Several South Florida beaches remain closed Monday after an airborne irritant was reported by beachgoers.
On Saturday, beaches in North Palm Beach County and Martin County closed due to an “unknown skin and respiratory irritant.”
“If there’s something bothering you with your breathing while you’re close to the water assume that it’s red tide and you don’t want to be in the water with the toxin,” said Dr. Louda, “You can swallow it, get it into your nose. It’s a nasty toxin.”
The City of Delray Beach is the latest to close its beaches as a precaution, according to officials.
The Town of Palm Beach also closed two of its beaches Sunday until further notice.
Officials closed Midtown and Phipps Ocean Park beaches referencing “possible red tide,” according to sister station CBS12.
Beachgoers reported breathing problems over the weekend in Jupiter prompting the response from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.
State officials are also testing the water in Jupiter for Blue-Green Algae. Those results are due back later this week.
Red tide is known for causing the following symptoms: Trouble breathing, headaches, and itchy eyes.