By Mike Busch 8-25-18

The brown tide and water quality issues we face on Long Island are not just local issues.  Florida has been dealing with an even scarier situation with Red Tide on the West Coast and toxic Blue-Green Algae on the East Coast, centered near Stuart where Lake Okeechobee drains into the Port St. Lucie River.   Blue-Green algae is toxic to humans, with a long list of health problems associated with ingesting or coming into contact with it.  Click here for more details.   I was in the area on for a short trip with my wife this week and we had a close call.  On Wednesday we swam for an extended time on Hutchinson Island at the beach in front of the House of Refuge.  The water was crystal clear and beautiful as you can see in the photos below.

After leaving, we took a short ride south (less than a mile) to Bathtub Beach, where lifeguards had just noticed blue-green algae and closed the beach.   Considering I had some open bloody scratches on my leg this wasn’t the news I wanted to hear.  We were even interviewed by the local T.V. news station looking for bummed out beach goers that couldn’t swim.

That was it for swimming in the ocean for my wife and I so we took a ride about three miles north to Jensen Beach.  There the beaches were not only open but covered with abundant sea life with massive schools of small baitfish up and down the beach creating a feast for Pelicans, Terns, Gulls, and a bunch of Tarpon.  They were so thick that they were getting washed up on the sand by the waves.  If you put the video above on a large screen you can see Tarpon moving through and outside the schools in large numbers.

So the news isn’t all bad, but hopefully Florida can figure out how to deal with the problem.

More Drone and DSLR Images on pages 2 and 3