beaches

Wilfredo Lee/AP

Dirty beaches in the wake of record-setting king tides across South Florida this week should come as no surprise, scientists say.

“No, there’s not any coincidence,” said Florida International University geochemist and water quality expert Henry Briceno.

Just days after record-setting tides, Florida Department of Health officials issued warnings Thursday about unsafe levels of bacteria at four Miami-Dade County beaches: Crandon Park’s North Beach, Virginia Key, Cape Florida and Surfside at 93rd Street. They told swimmers to stay out of the water.

Tampa Bay Times

If it seems like you're seeing more reports about flesh-eating bacteria, you actually are. The number of cases is up, though only slightly. And scientists have begun pointing to an increasingly familiar cause: climate change.

Recent reported cases of flesh-eating bacteria infections from the Gulf of Mexico may have some people wary to spend the holiday weekend by the water.

But infectious disease expert Dr. Vilma Vega said there is no reason for everyone to avoid the beach.


TIFFANY TOMPKINS / Bradenton Herald via Miami Herald

Florida’s coastal waters are entirely free of red tide algal blooms, according to the latest round of tests conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The report marks a new low for red tide levels in Florida since the most recent bloom began in October 2017.

The Karenia Brevis algae that causes red tide was only observed in four Southwest Florida water samples over the past week. The samples contained extremely low numbers of algae cells per liter, far below concentrations that would cause a harmful bloom.

Lawmaker Targets Smoking On Beaches

Jan 3, 2019

A Senate Republican on Wednesday filed a proposal that would make it illegal for people to smoke on public beaches.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

A Senate Democrat this week filed a proposal that could refuel a debate about beach access in Florida. But Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, indicated he does not want to revisit a controversial law that critics say can help private landowners prevent public access to some beach areas.

Richard Graulich / Palm Beach Post

After almost a year along the beaches on the Gulf Coast, toxic algae has made its way to South Florida.

 

Katie Lepri

Updated 9:18 a.m.

Beaches in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties are open again after being shut down due to a red tide outbreak, according to county authorities.  

Red Tide Confirmed In Miami-Dade And Some Beaches Have Been Closed

Oct 4, 2018
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Miami-Dade closed beaches north of the Haulover inlet before dawn on Thursday morning after lab tests confirmed the presence of red tide in ocean waters as the toxic algae traveled from Gulf waters to the Atlantic, spreading an environmental and tourism crisis to more of Florida.

The Supreme Court has refused to take up a billionaire's appeal of a lower court ruling that forced him to maintain public access to surfers and others who visit Martins Beach, a scenic spot near Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco.

The case had been shaping up to be a showdown over California's Coastal Act, with possible ramifications for other states with laws to preserve public access to beaches. Advocates for public access are hailing the court's decision to decline the case as a victory. The Supreme Court declined the case on Monday, the first day of its new session.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order Thursday responding to confusion over a new Florida law, and he's making it clear that it doesn't make public beaches private.

Tourism, fishing and public health are being threatened by contaminants discoloring stretches of beaches at the southern end of the Florida peninsula.

private beach
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

A new Florida law could make it harder for local governments to keep certain parts of the beach open to the public. 

Will a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott result in making more of Florida's beaches off-limits? And does U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson really have an anemic record of getting bills passed in Congress, as his opponents allege? WUSF's Steve Newborn gets the lowdown on those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

Portuguese Man O' War Season Hits South Florida

Feb 12, 2018
David Santiago / Miami Herald

Predatory balloon-like creatures on Florida’s shore declare the arrival of Portuguese man o’ war season and prompt lifeguards to fly purple beach warning flags.

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