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Broward beaches test positive for low levels of red tide

Some beaches in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach counties reopen Friday

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Test results released Friday found low levels of red tide in several locations along the coast of Broward County, authorities said. 

Deerfield Beach Mayor Bill Ganz said the International Fishing Pier would be closed Friday and Saturday out of abundance of caution. Pompano Beach said it would raise flags and post signs warning swimmers, but the city will not close the beach.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission testing found:

  • Low concentrations at Dr. Von D. Mizell Eula Johnson State Park and Hallandale Beach
  • Very low concentrations at Deerfield, Pompano, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Beaches
  • Not present or background concentrations at Hillsboro and Dania Beaches

Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County and state officials reopened public beaches north of Haulover inlet, including Haulover Park, Friday -- one day after red tide was detected. Beaches in Palm Beach County, which were closed over red tide concerns, also reopened Friday.

WHAT IS RED TIDE?

They said the water should be safe for most people. However, red tide can be harmful to fish, birds and humans, so officials are urging people with chronic respiratory issues like asthma to stay out of areas affected by red tide.

Red tide is caused when microscopic algae multiply faster than normal, causing a discoloration in the water. Fast-moving currents are pushing the red tide from the west coast of Florida to the east. Officials said this is only the eighth time that red tide has been recorded on the east coast.

On Friday, the water looked clear from the shore in Haulover Beach, but from up close, beachgoers could tell something was not right with the water.

"There's a little red tide over here, but other than that, it's pretty good. People are swimming," Robert Williams said.

Beaches north of Haulover inlet were closed on Thursday after tests showed concentrations of Karenia brevis, the organism that causes red tide. Despite the reopening, many beachgoers are still staying away from the water.

"It looks very polluted. It's like brown, dark. It looks just nasty, and I could even see like, fish, like washing up, it's like, that's bad," Patrice Sylvester said.

Those who did venture into the water told us they had to get out because of respiratory problems.

"Yeah, I did have, like, kind of like sneezing a little. I saw some guy coughing," Williams said.

The FWC is posting the results of its red tide testing in real time on its website.