County official: Red tide won’t bring tourism to ‘stand still’

County official: Red tide won’t bring tourism to ‘stand still’

Officials are expressing cautious optimism that Palm Beach County’s first bout with toxic red tide in greater than a decade won’t have the deep ecological or economic impact.

A prolonged red tide surge because the summer has been devastating to marine wildlife and damaged the summertime tourism season along a 130-mile stretch along Florida’s Gulf coast. Locally, county business and officials entities say they don’ t see signs exactly the same will here happen, though they’re considering some Plan Bs.

Related: Rare red tide within Palm Beach County, but beaches open soon

“It’s not at all something that the east coast has already established to handle,” said Mayor Melissa McKinlay, whose grouped family lives on Florida’s west coast and contains witnessed this year’s bad red tide bloom particularly. “I’ll just pray that it doesn’t turn this way here. I don’t think it shall.”

Glenn Jergensen, executive director of the county’s Tourism Development Council, said it really is too early to inform just how much of a direct effect the county might see with regards to bookings or other lost business. 

But Jergensen said he doubts is a significant effect there. “It’s not at all something that things ‘re going still to come quickly to a stand,” he said.

PHOTOS: Beaches close across Palm Beach County after people complain of respiratory distress

The very good news: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said water samples taken this last weekend tested positive for only low-to-medium concentrations of red tide and the single-cell algae Karenia brevis that triggers it.

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Another element in the county’s favor: While Jergensen hopes the red tide rolls out soon, of the entire year for tourism he said it has come at the slowest time. The tourism season accumulates round the holidays, from January to April with the peak being, he said. He added hotels haven’t reported any changes in visitors&rsquo yet; plans to here come.


County beaches are anticipated to reopen. Individual cities could make their very own decisions on whether to open the beaches fully, or keep swimming restricted, officials said.

Florida Power & Light Co.’s Manatee Lagoon reported Tuesday it have not seen signs of red tide though it is situated near the impacted areas.

More: What the red tide samples show — along with other questions you might have

But Jergensen has plans set up to battle any more lasting impacts.

Jergensen is encouraging hotels to inform guests about other activities to accomplish locally besides visit the beach.

“There are always a complete large amount of things that can be achieved in the event that you can’t visit the beach,” he said while naming Lion Country Safari and cultural attractions.

And the tourism council will talk with other organizations including UNCOVER THE Palm Beaches and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County to find out how far better get that message from social media marketing and advertising.

Gov. Tuesday he could be ready to &ldquo rick Scott announced; deploy any needed funding&rdquo or resources; to the east coast communities. 

McKinlay there&rsquo said;s nothing anyone can perform to create red tide’s stay shorter, only “mother nature” has control.

Red tide is really a natural occurrence that blooms around 40 miles offshore in the Gulf coast of florida, and contains been reported as back because the 1800s far.

But politics have grown to be area of the red tide conversation already.

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, Monday said Gov. Scott and state lawmakers haven’t paid enough focus on the surroundings.

“It appears like a health risk and it&rsquo obviously;s an economic risk because we rely upon our waters for the economic activity. So it’s a wake-up call,” Frankel said. “I believe the red algae has gotten everyone&rsquo now;s attention.”

tuesday morning

By, someone spelled out in red “red tide rick” in the fence on an overpass above Interstate 95 southbound near Blue Heron Boulevard. That’month s a disparaging moniker utilized by protesters against Scott in southwest Florida last.

Staff writers Sarah Peters and Charles Elmore contributed to the story.