MIAMI - Red tide has been confirmed in Miami-Dade County.
As a result, all public beaches north of Haulover Inlet will be closed until Friday morning, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Thursday in an email.
The county received results late Wednesday indicating elevated levels of algae linked to red tide, spokeswoman Myriam Marquez said.
Although results for three sampling areas off Miami Beach and Crandon Park tested in the very low to low range, results for samples collected off Haulover Park tested in the medium concentration range, Marquez said.
"We are taking this proactive step to ensure our residents and visitors are not affected as we collect samples in other areas for state testing," Gimenez said in a statement. "We will continue to seek guidance from the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and take precautionary measures as warranted."
A Miami-Dade police officer was spotted wearing a World War II-style gas mask while riding an ATV on the beach Thursday morning at Haulover Park.
"You can smell it," Miami-Dade Ocean Rescue Lt. Matthew Sparling said. "It's a little bit musty."
The city of Miami issued a statement Thursday saying it will be conducting water-quality tests in Biscayne Bay "out of an abundance of caution" because of the red tide issues at nearby beaches.
Broward County has not confirmed the results of its testing, but Palm Beach County announced Thursday that all of its county-managed beaches are closed until further notice.
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