Florida’s Space Coast has been monitoring the spread of red tide which has progressed from the Gulf Coast of Florida to the east coast and gradually, up the coastline to southern Brevard County. “Brevard is fortunate that red tides don’t make it up the east coast to Brevard County very often and don’t usually last for long here. The state only adds testing on the east coast when symptoms arise” said Virginia Barker, Director of Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department.
Beachgoers in southern areas of Brevard County are advised to take precautions following confirmation Wednesday, October 17, 2018 of red tide conditions that have tested at a high level in Satellite Beach and been detected at medium to lower levels along other beaches in the southern part of the county, according to tests results released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC).
RED TIDE – WHAT IS IT?
Red tide is a naturally occurring seawater phenomenon of a higher-than-normal concentration of a microscopic alga called Karenia brevis, which can discolor the water.
Red tide typically forms offshore, but it can be moved onshore by ocean currents and winds. It usually is found in marine and brackish water – not freshwater. Appearances of red tide in Florida have been documented since the 1840s.
In higher levels of concentration, red tide can cause eye, nose and throat irritation and other respiratory issues, and it can harm fish and other marine life. Breaking waves can cause red tide-related toxins to become mixed with airborne sea spray.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M EXPOSED TO RED TIDE?
- Red tide can cause respiratory irritation that is usually temporary, but it also can create more-serious issues for people with asthma, COPD, or other respiratory ailments.
- Symptoms from red tide will likely subside once a person leaves the beach area.
- Most people who swim in red tide generally will not be affected, but some skin irritation might occur. Wash yourself with freshwater carefully and thoroughly if you feel any irritation.
Visit a doctor immediately if you develop any serious symptoms after being exposed to red tide.
Protect your pets! Do not allow them to play with dead fish or foam on the beach. Rinse pets off with freshwater if they’ve gotten wet from the ocean.
For helpful information from Florida’s Department of Health, visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins/red-tide.html.
To see what the red tide conditions are like before going to the beach, read the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Research Institute Red Tide Conditions Report at myfwc.com.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO BESIDES THE BEACH ON MY VACATION?
Be cautious on the beach. Florida’s Space Coast may be known for its 72 miles of beaches, but there’s so much more to see and explore here. As you discover what makes up the Space Coast, you’ll learn that it is so much more than beaches and waterways.
Here’s a look at some additional adventures you can have while visiting:
1. Kennedy Space Center
America’s space program comes to life at Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Center through a variety of exhibits and shows. Get up close to Space Shuttle Atlantis in a one-of-a-kind exhibit that may just make you a little misty eyed the first moment you see the shuttle. Learn what it takes to be a hero at the Heroes & Legends, and get a behind the gates tour of Kennedy Space Center. It’s definitely a full day adventure that should be at the top of your list. KennedySpaceCenter.com
2. Brevard Zoo
Escape from the ordinary and enjoy lush surroundings and exotic animals at the Brevard Zoo. Over 700 animals from all over the world reside at the zoo including giraffes, jaguars, alligators, and an array of other creatures. The weather is starting to cool down, which makes your zoo experience even better. Plus, a majority of the walkways are shaded. Visitors can also rent kayaks, ride the Cape to Cairo Express train, and take part in Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures. BrevardZoo.org
3. Shopping and Dining
Florida’s Space Coast is home to five downtown districts – Downtown Titusville, Historic Cocoa Village, Downtown Melbourne, Eau Gallie Arts District and Downtown Cocoa Beach. Whether you’re looking to shop and pick up unique items or you’re looking to dine, each is filled with many choices that can suit everyone in your party. Not into historic downtown areas? Check out one of the many breweries we have here on the Space Coast.
4. Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures
Located in Cocoa Beach, the Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures at The Dinosaur Store is a must-visit spot for visitors. You will have the opportunity to explore the prehistoric age and King Tut’s tomb, as well as life size models of dinosaurs. It’s pretty rad, if we can say so ourselves. DinosaurStore.com
5. Airboat Rides
Zip across the grassy marsh for your chance to explore stunning scenery and wildlife including alligators, water moccasins and a variety of birds. Your boat captain will navigate through the waters, and if you’ve never enjoyed this experience before, you will love the thrill. AirboatRidesMelbourne.com
We do know from history that the red tide will subside eventually and affected beaches will be back to normal soon. Thank You for visiting Florida’s Space Coast!