Blue-green algae affecting Martin County beaches

All beaches open in St. Lucie County
Posted at 5:26 AM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 16:25:02-04

Lake Okeechobee discharges are creating blue-green algae in the ocean and affecting beaches from Stuart to Jensen Beach.

Around noon Monday, lifeguards were not allowing swimmers to get into the water at Jensen Beach.  

St. Lucie County government said Monday that all beaches are open, and there are no signs of algae.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has already been alerted about the growing problem.

Beachgoers were disappointed Sunday to see no swimming signs at the beach.

"I was like, ‘What do you mean they're closed? We can always go down to the beach,’" says Krysten Ashley.

The blue-green algae in the ocean started at Bathtub Beach then traveled north Saturday and Sunday. St. Lucie County leaders say there have been reports of algae at Waveland Beach as well.

"All of the sudden it's completely flip-flopped and changed, and now we're not welcome in a place that should be open at all times," says Ashley.

Reports of algae in the ocean are creating a major concern not just for entertainment, but also businesses bottom line.

"Paddleboard rentals and surfboard rentals," says John Hunter at Sunrise Surf Shop in Jensen Beach.

Wildlife is also potentially affected.  Doctors at Loggerhead Marinelife Center say the algae could have an impact on sea turtles nervous systems.