Stuart business owner says algae crisis forced him to close his doors

Posted at 7:17 PM, Sep 16, 2016

The algae crisis on the Treasure Coast is taking a toll on one Stuart business. 

‘Tackle for Less’ on US 1 in Stuart is shutting its doors after being in operation for about 2 years. 

The owner told NewsChannel 5 off camera that the algae crisis devastated his shop. 

He says the images of the green gunk on the water kept boaters and fishermen away from the Treasure Coast. 

His business this summer suffered as a result. On many days only a handful of customers would even walk in. 

Now the shelves sit empty in his store, as he prepares to move out the store completely next week.

“They were doing much, much better last year,” says barber Maria Shakra at nearby Frazier Creek Barber.

The strain is being felt at her shop as well. 

“Summertime was a little hard, we'll see how the winter goes,” she says. “Some people may not be coming back this area.” 

The winter season, and the uncertainty surrounding it is concerning to her, as well as other bait shops. 

“It’s going to affect tourism this coming season, we're going to be dealing with it a few months to come,” says Nathaniel Bunyard with Hooked Up Bait and Tackle.

The shop, which just opened last September, hopes to avoid the same fate as its counterpart.

“We're going to try and ride it out and do the best we can,” Bunyard says. “Hopefully we can move forward with it, keep our waters clean, and take better care of out environment.”