Very low levels of red tide detected at Volusia County beaches

Red tide tests have now confirmed that the algae has moved to Volusia County.

After some complaints about dead fish, officials with Volusia County beaches are taking water samples from three different locations this week. Those are Hiles Boulevard, Crawford Road in New Smyrna Beach, and Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach.

County officials say that there are just very low levels of red tide present as of now, but more water samples are being tested. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has reportedly requested that samples be collected weekly.

The FWC says that they confirmed background concentrations of Karenia brevis, at a level of 667 cells/liter, at Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park. This sample was taken on October 17th. They say that this a very low concentration, less than 1,000 cells/liter, which is officially classified by FWC as 'not present/background.' For comparison, Florida's most affected areas reached more than 1 million cells/liter. These low levels therefore have no anticipated effects.

With 'very low' levels, there could still be possible respiratory irritation, the FWC says. There could also be shellfish harvesting closures. Beach officials will put out warnings for red tide, but will not close any beaches.

Red tide has been moving up the Atlantic over the past few weeks. It was detected along Brevard County beaches last week.

The FWC's statewide red tide map is being updated daily HERE