Red tide blooms are the closest they’ve been to the Northeast Florida coast in a decade.
Last week, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission personnel found low concentrations of the toxic bloom in water samples collected at Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park in Daytona Beach.
After hitting portions of the Florida panhandle and peninsula over the past few months, the red tide is now lurking in the waters just south of the First Coast, but fishermen and boaters like John Edgars at Jacksonville Beach are cautiously optimistic about the outbreak’s northward trajectory.
"Now we are moving into the fall, and we are getting north winds. So, it will probably be OK. The water temperatures will cool, and I think we’ll be OK this year," said Edgars, a charter guide.
The secret to keeping the red tide from moving north is actually in the weather as fall-like conditions are driven by back-to-back cold-fronts that deliver strong, gusty northeasterly winds to our area.
Those same winds can also keep red-tide laden Gulf Stream waters from going any farther north.
Volusia County officials said beachgoers should not experience any health affects given the extremely low concentration of red tide blooms.
No beach closures are planned in the area, but signs will be posted warning residents of the potential presence of red tide and the risks associated with exposure.
Officials plan to conduct red tide testing in Volusia County again on Monday.