A week after alarming red-tide levels prompted Miami-Dade to briefly close a popular beach, new tests show the harmful algae has dissipated off most of the county’s shores.
Test results posted from samples taken Thursday show negligible to no presence of red tide in Miami-Dade ocean waters that had previously shown levels somewhere between very low and medium. The better numbers come from the second wave of tests for Miami-Dade after a red-tide crisis that began on the Gulf Coast shifted to the Atlantic Coast at the start of October.
The most severe level in Miami-Dade — medium — was detected by a state lab off Haulover Beach, one of the most northern stretches of sand in the county. The results came in late on Oct. 3, and the following day Miami-Dade closed the beach and surrounding park to all visitors.
That was a temporary step, with county officials deciding by the end of the day to reopen Haulover and just warn park goers of potential respiratory discomfort while on the sand or in the water.
State test results posted Friday by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission showed Haulover’s prior medium reading — representing at least 100,000 cells of the Karenia brevis algae for every liter of water — had shifted to “not present/background.” That’s the lowest level for the agency’s scale.
Prior low levels off other Miami-Dade beaches also came up as “not present/background” in the latest round of tests. Two exceptions are a sample off Government Cut in Miami Beach, which registers “very low,” and a sample taken inland from Haulover in northern Biscayne Bay, which also registered very low in terms of red-tide presence.