Uncertainty looming as Stuart businesses brace for algae bloom's impact on holiday weekend

Posted at 7:32 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 19:32:06-04

For many businesses on the treasure coast, 4th of July weekend is traditionally busy and profitable.

This year, that may not be the case.

“I’m hoping that we still get a lot of people that come out,” says Annette LeMay with Pirate's Cover Resort and Marina.

“We're featuring a couple different bands and stuff this weekend, but I don't know. To be honest with you I really don't know. I don't know if me personally if I would go out on the water to watch fireworks.”
For LeMay, the uncertainty that started with the algae bloom continues as we head into the Fourth of July weekend. 

The resort depends on boat traffic, and there hasn't been much since blue green algae started to take over the waters of the treasure coast. 

As a result, she says her business and others here have suffered, and a weekend that is supposed to be big for the restaurant is up in the air.

Captain Giles Murphy and his dog Tugger are seeing fewer customers walk into their bait and tackle shop Stuart Angler.

He says they see some sort of algae bloom every year, but this one has been the worst by far. 

When customers do come in he's giving them - especially the out of towners - some advice along with whatever they buy.

That includes advice on where and where not to fish.
“Anything but the St. Lucie river, really,” Captain Murphy says. “If you go past the bridge you're pretty much in no man's land. There are actually tarpon back there you can catch, but because of health hazards I definitely don't promote it.”