Treasure Coast Triathlon sees decrease in participants due to algae crisis

Numbers fall from 400 to 200 this year
Posted at 7:22 AM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 08:57:34-04

The algae crisis on the Treasure Coast is being blamed for a lower than normal turnout this weekend for an annual triathlon. 

RELATED: More toxic water coverage | MAP: Algal blooms in Florida

The fourth annual Treasure Coast Triathlon in Jensen Beach only had about half as many athletes in attendance as in previous years.

"Our registration went down," said Patty Martinez, co-owner of Trilife, who organizes the event.

The swimming portion took place in the ocean, which did not have any algae.

But organizers said the recent reports about the toxic algae caused many people to stay home and not participate in this year's event.

"They either canceled or decided they wanted to switch to the duathlon where they didn't have to swim because they were concerned about the quality of the water, about getting sick, even though we know the water to be fine," Martinez said.

Organizers said usually around 400 people register for the race. This year only about 200 participated.

Generally, the event brings in people from different parts of the state. 

"We just haven't seen that same amount of growth," Martinez said, "Especially from the Orlando area, Miami area and the Keys, as we have in the past."