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Bathtub Beach taking people’s breath away this summer

Posted at 7:18 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 07:47:36-04

STUART, Fla. — WPTV is committed to Protecting Paradise. We are focused on environmental issues with a goal of helping to bring awareness to existing problems and search for workable solutions. Have a story idea? Email us at paradise@wptv.com

Exactly one year after waterways throughout Martin County were covered with blue-green algae, beachgoers are in awe of this year’s water quality. Many say it’s taking their breath away but unlike previous years this time, it’s for a good reason.

“I thought it was a fluke," said Jon Bollnow.

Beachgoers like Bollnow say they pleasantly surprised to see crystal clear water.

“Our conversation earlier was we pretty much need to beach it every day until the algae gets here," said Bason.

For people like Bason, who live in Martin County, they can’t help but fear the worst.

“By this time, for the last few years in a row, we can’t come here anymore it’s already gross you don’t want to come near the water, you want to stay away from the water restaurants, anywhere more inland the better,” said Bason.

Just down the road, Ohana Surf Shop reports business this summer is booming.

“We’ve been turning people away we’ve been so busy and that’s a good sign,” said Ohana Surf Shop owner Jordan Schwartz.

Schwartz says he started losing hope after the business started steadily declining since 2012 due to water quality issues. He, like many local business owners, was afraid it would never improve.

“There was an odor to the water, it was brownish,” said Linda Bollnow.

No longer plagued with blue-green algae, officials expect tourism to continue to soar and crowds to only grow near the water leading up to the Fourth of July holiday.

“It really helps everybody. Clean water isn’t just about the water businesses, but once the water businesses start doing better, we start spreading the wealth and everybody does better as a community,” said Schwartz.