Destin Beach Safety confirms red tide outbreak in Okaloosa County

Northwest Florida

DESTIN, Fla (WKRG) — Destin Beach Safety confirms to WKRG News 5 that red tide is present in Destin.

The division chief says the algae bloom has not killed any fish and it is not bad at the moment.

“Some people can tolerate it. Some walk off beach.”

Joe D’Agostino, Destin Beach Safety Division Chief

In a release by the Florida Department of Health, the algae bloom is near James Lee Beach.

The Department recommends that you:  

  • Do not swim around dead fish at this location.  
  • If you have chronic respiratory problems, be careful and consider staying away from this location as red tide can affect your breathing.  
  • Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish from this location. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.  
  • Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam and dead sea life.  
  • Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications).   
  • If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.   

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), red tide is a harmful algal bloom that can cause problems for both humans and marine life.

“For people with severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as emphysema or asthma, red tide can cause serious illness.”

FWC says red tide can affect the central nervous system of fish. The outbreak can also affect the seafood humans consume.

“Toxins can also accumulate in molluscan filter-feeders such as oysters and clams, which can lead to Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning in people who consume contaminated shellfish.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Videos

More Video

More Local News

3-Day Forecast

Trending Stories