Volunteers help clean up red tide in Melbourne
MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Saturday morning, Spessard Holland Beach in Melbourne was covered with rotting fish.
Dead fish by the hundreds killed by red tide and laid out in the sun to rot.
“It's such a big issue,” said beachgoer Yvonne Davis. “It's not just the people it affects, it affects everything else in the environment.”
The nonprofit group Keep Brevard Beautiful organized staff and volunteers to clean up the beaches.
They gave out masks, tongs, buckets and shovels to get the work done.
“I heard the call and the cry, and wanted to come out here and contribute a little bit,” said volunteer Rich Bacherman.
Teams worked for hours getting the stinking carcasses off the beach.
Residents were out throughout the morning at two separate beaches, picking up the fish, trying to get them off the sand.
Bonsteel beach was the other one, where workers worked fast to clean up.
“I was cleaning the beach,” said young volunteer Sophie Smith, “cause people can not step on things and get hurt when they go to the beach.”
Brevard has been dealing with red tide and dead fish since the previous week.
Officials said the beaches were still open, but warned beachgoers to leave quickly if they experienced the coughing, burning eyes, or itching that red tide can cause.