Martin County Red Tide Information

Red Tide Update: December 5, 2018

Results posted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) from December 1 indicate water samples confirmed no presence of red tide along coastal waterways of Martin County.

Martin County continues to work with FWC and other municipalities along the east coast of Florida to ensure appropriate testing and response to this Red tide event provides county leaders, residents and visitors with the best information to make informed decisions.

Advisory signs have been posted at the following locations:

Bathtub Beach – 2 signs
Beach Walk Pasley – 1 sign
Bob Graham Beach – 4 signs
Bryn Mawr Beach – 1 sign
Chastain Beach – 1 sign
Fletcher Beach – 1 sign
Glascock Beach – 1 sign
Hobe Sound Beach – 1 sign
House of Refuge – 1 sign
Jensen Beach – 4 signs
Sandsprit Park - 1 sign
Santa Lucea Beach – 1 sign
Sea turtle Beach – 3 signs
Stokes Beach – 1 sign
Stuart Beach – 5 signs
Tiger Shores Beach – 1 sign
Virginia Forrest Beach – 1 sign

Martin County beaches are guarded, however, conditions may change. Residents and visitors are encouraged to call the beach hotline at 772-320-3112 for current conditions and to seek the assistance of EMT/Lifeguards on with any questions or concerns while at guarded beaches. 

The FWC has created an enhanced, interactive map, updated daily with water sampling analysis to show the status of naturally-occurring red tide throughout the state. View the Red Tide Status Map

Please use this information to make informed decisions about visiting local beaches. 

What We're Doing

  • Sampling at locations along the Martin County coastline, from Hobe Sound Beach to Jensen Beach, and sending samples to labs for analysis. 
  • Posting advisory signs near beaches
  • Updating the existing local state of emergency to include red tide
  • Working with DEP to utilize available funds to help mitigate the effects of red tide in our area
  • Executing best management practices provided by FWC for red tide-related beach cleaning
  • Communicating with FWC, DEP and other counties and municipalities from Miami-Dade to St. Lucie County on regularly scheduled status calls to share information and institute best practices. 

Martin County is partnering with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Department of Environment Protection (DEP), Florida Department of Health in Martin County and other local agencies to monitor and provide the most accurate information for residents and visitors. We will continue utilizing best practices from communities on the west coast of Florida who have extensive experience dealing with red tide. 

What is Red Tide?

Florida red tide is a higher-than-normal concentration of a naturally occurring, microscopic algae called Karenia brevis, often abbreviated as  K. brevis.  At high concentrations, the organisms may discolor the water, sometimes red, light or dark green, brown or the water may appear clear.

What are symptoms from breathing in red tide toxins?

For most people, symptoms are temporary. Some people may experience eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath when on the beach or in an area near a red tide bloom, particularly when winds are blowing onshore.  According to the Florida Department of Health, people with severe or chronic respiratory conditions should avoid red tide areas.

How long will it last?

Red tide blooms can last days, weeks or months and can also change daily due to wind conditions. Onshore winds normally bring it near the shore and offshore winds drive it out to sea.

Can people swim in red tide?

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission states  that most people can swim in red tide, but it can cause skin irritation and burning eyes. If you experience irritation, get out and thoroughly wash off with fresh water.

Can pets swim in red tide?

If your pet swims in a red tide bloom at the beach, rinse thoroughly with fresh water as soon as possible. Don't let your pet play in sea foam near a red tide bloom.

Important Numbers

  • For the latest information on Martin County beaches, call the beach hotline (updated daily) at: 772-320-3112
  • To find out about red tide conditions throughout the state of Florida, please call FWC: 866-300-9399
  • To report health issues related to red tide, please call Florida Poision Control Center: 800-222-1222

Report impacts on fish and wildlfe

Fish kills or other wildlife impacted by poor water quality should be reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online.

Additional Resources

Florida Fish & Wildlife Red Tide Fact Sheet
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Red Tide Information
Florida Fish & Wildlife Red Tide Status
Florida Department of Health Red Tide Information
Marine Laboratory and Aquarium (MOTE) Red Tide FAQs
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Harmful Algal Blooms Conditions Report

Martin County is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. To report an accessibility issue, request accessibility assistance regarding our website content, or to request a specific electronic format, please complete our Accessibility Feedback Form. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate all needs.

Back to top