NewsTreasure CoastRegion St Lucie CountyFort Pierce


First day of fish kill cleanup at Pepper Park Beach

Posted at 6:49 PM, Oct 24, 2018

It's the first day of cleaning up dead fish at Pepper Park Beach in Fort Pierce.

We met lifeguard Grayson Money in the parking lot who said, "We had so much dead fish up and down the beach that the water is contaminated at that point so we are not going to let anybody go out there and swim and cough in that."

Grayson says by Monday dead fish started washing ashore. Experts say it's likely linked to red tide.

Since then, the beach has been closed. And as the clean-up is underway, visitors are still showing up.

Grayson and his staff warning them to stay away for now. 

"Saying hey the beach is closed you are not allowed to go out there and I try to explain red tide to them. It makes a really bad respiratory cough. And if you have COPD or asthma you shouldn't be out in it because it will just make it worse."

As the clean-up continues, people in the community are concerned. Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute hosting a workshop.

Malcolm McFarland is a research associate there.

 "I think it's important that people understand what's happening and why it's happening and what we may be able to do about it," said McFarland.

Meanwhile, lifeguards are keeping the public safe. "There's no reason to come out and cough and irritate your lungs in that way.

The county says the clean-up could cost around 100-thousand dollars, which they hope will be reimbursed by the state.