Blue-green algae is putting a damper on Fourth of July celebrations on the Treasure Coast. Several events scheduled to take place in the water over the past weekend had to be canceled. And many watersport businesses are suffering.
Tony Ross, who owns Wet N Wild Sportfishing, a charter boat out of Stuart, says last Fourth of July weekend he scheduled six different charters. This year, he says, he never received one call asking about reservations.
"I have a hired captain and a hired mate and they don't have any work" Ross says, "And then I don't have any income from the boat, yet the bills still keep coming for dock rent and everything."
Paul Daly, owner of Pelican Cafe on downtown Stuart's waterfront says luckily, business is much better for him this Fourth of July.
"Our tables have been sold out for three weeks," Daly says, "We'll put on a heck of a party tonight."
Daly says the blue-green algae comes and goes on the section of the St. Lucie River by his restaurant. But he says there's been none in sight as he prepares to feed people during the city's fireworks show.
"A lot of people hear about it on the news and it seems to be such an explosive topic, but they haven't really come and seen it," Daly says, "So tonight they'll come down and they'll see the water flowing through, and it's looking clean, but they still have to be cautious."