MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The signs warning people of red tide along Deerfield Beach are not keeping Coral Springs Residents Steve Samit away.
“I don’t really get on the sand that much but it’s fine. I just kind of chill here and relax, ” Samit said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials tested samples along Deerfield Beach. The latest results show a low concentration. A sample near Fort Lauderdale tested positive for a medium concentration of red tide. As for Miami-Dade, the water along the beaches are in the clear.
Farther north in Indian River County, beaches are closed Wednesday due to high levels of red tide. It’s deadly to fish and causes allergy-like symptoms to people who are near the water.
“We have to be on guard and make sure we understand what’s going on,” University of Miami Professor Nick Shay said.
Dr. Shay said research is now showing there could be a connection between a big red tide algae bloom and strong hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.
“These hurricanes pass over the west Florida shelf and the following year we see a big red tide bloom,” Dr. Shay said.
The university professor said strong hurricanes, like Michael, may help bring the red tide organism closer to the surface. The sea breeze and currents can possibly then carry it closer to our beaches.
Deerfield Beach Business Owner Pepper Parker hopes that doesn’t happen.
“It has really slowed me down a lot because the people were leaving the beach. They were not coming.
Parker owns Ginger Sushi Boutique. She told CBS 4, the threat of red tide kept people away the last two weeks. Recently, with the opening of the peer again, she saw an increase in foot traffic.
“There has been a lot more daytime business for us. The evening have even picked up a bit,” Parker said.
Deerfield Beach Mayor Bill Ganz echoes the same feeling. He hopes the east coast doesn’t see the impacts of red tide similar to what is happening now.
“We are anticipating this to be kind of linger for a while and hopefully it’ll dissipate soon, Mayor Ganz said.