King tides could further erode Bathtub Beach

STUART, Fla. - When the sun sets, the tide continues to rise, and Bathtub Beach-goer Shanna DeRienzo said her family had to keep moving their blanket back.

"From when we first got here, because it was down more, we had to move it up," she said. "(Friends) moved it further up when we went walking."

Vincent Encomio, Research Scientist with the Florida Oceanographic Institute, said the beaches are the Treasure Coast's main attractions. He said Bathtub Beach's erosion is following an annual cycle of high tides.

"It happens periodically, especially when we get large storms like right now, we're getting a pretty decent-sized swell," Encomio said.

He said Bathtub Beach is especially dynamic, in that it can change rapidly. High tides occur when the earth, moon and sun are aligned, and king tides are the highest of the high, so they could potentially do damage to an already-weakened shoreline.

"From building up sand, one storm could wipe out a lot of the sand that gets built up," said Encomio.

Joshua Stettin, a Port St. Lucie resident, said he enjoys Bathtub Beach. He drives to Hutchison Island for the relaxation factor. He said he's come to expect the high tides in the fall, but he knows when the seasons move on, it will be back to the calmer beach he's used to seeing.

"You got the lunar change, but during the winter time you got a lot more swell, and in the summer time, it's going to flatten out," Stettin said.

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