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St. Lucie and Indian River Counties spent more than $200,000 on red tide cleanup

Posted: 1:35 PM, Dec 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-04 22:43:43Z

More than a month after red tide hit the Treasure Coast, counties are now submitting the final amount they spent on cleanup efforts to the state.

St. Lucie and Indian River Counties are hoping to get reimbursed by the state for the cost to remove tens of thousands of pounds of dead fish from their beaches.

RELATED: What is red tide?

According to St. Lucie County:

  • Around 101,400 lbs. of dead fish were removed from just under a 5-mile stretch in the county.
  • Total cost of the cleanup was $81,885.
  • Cleanup lasted from Oct. 24-29.

"The smell wasn't very good and it wasn't great for tourism so to be able to get in there and get the beaches cleaned within five days was a blessing," said Erick Gill, Communications Director for St. Lucie County.

The county contracted with AshBritt Environmental, and used money from solid waste authority funds. The county is hoping to get that money back from the state soon, thanks to the state's emergency order issued for red tide.

"We had [AshBritt] on retainer in the event that there's a hurricane and major debris that needed to be cleaned up," Gill said.

If not, Gill said, crews from Parks and Recreation would have had to be moved around and the county said it would not have had the resources to clean up the dead fish. 

According to Indian River County:

  • Around 161,000 lbs. of dead fish were removed from 22.5 miles of shoreline.
  • Cost came in at $120,775.

Indian River County said it contracted with Ceres Environmental, which was able to complete the work ahead of schedule, resulting in savings.

The counties do not know when exactly the state will issue the reimbursement funds.