From Paul P. Murphy of CNN, 10/18/2018:
As the red tide continues to move northward along Florida’s east coast, a new breakaway bloom is moving through the Keys.
Counties across the state have been dealing with the Karenia brevis algae, and the marine life it’s killed, for months. Now, Indian River is the latest Florida county forced to close its beaches because of red tide.
And on Tuesday, Brevard County’s Melbourne Beach, Indialantic and Cocoa Beach also confirmed their waters, too, have tested positive for medium levels of the toxic algae. Officials said their counties’ beaches would remain open, but signage would be put up warning of red tide’s presence.
Gemini Elementary School in Melbourne Beach has canceled all outdoor activities for its students until red tide moves from the area. Brevard County Public Schools will meet later Thursday to discuss steps they may take.
Red tide’s neurotoxins are deadly to marine life and can irritate people’s skin; it can even cause respiratory issues, especially for people with asthma.
A University of Miami professor of marine biology and ecology, Larry Brand, told CNN previously that “It’s like being hit with a tear gas.”