Red Tide conditions steadily improve at Sebastian Inlet, Vero Beach, Indian River Lagoon

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Red Tide conditions at Sebastian Inlet and Wabasso Beach are improving due to cold front and winds out of the west in Sebastian, Florida.

SEBASTIAN, Florida – For nearly two weeks, we’ve been covering the news of Red Tide showing up at the Sebastian Inlet, Vero Beach, and the Indian River Lagoon.

All beaches in Indian River County are still closed. Red Tide conditions have improved, but we’ll talk about that later in this article. Let’s bring you up to date first.

On Friday, residents in Vero Beach near John’s Island told us that Red Tide conditions were improving. We then had a wind change, out of the west, that has been keeping the airborne microbes off the beach.

On Saturday, we checked out Wabasso Beach and couldn’t believe how clean the water was, compared to the weeks prior. The air quality also improved, although the beaches were still closed.

We then went to the Sebastian Inlet and saw that the Tide Pool was back to normal. However, the area still had posted signs of Red Tide.

On the beach, next to the Jetty, we found two dead fish that we believe had been there for several weeks. Other than that, the water was beautiful. They still have the Red Tide flags waiving along with signs posted near the Sebastian Inlet Jetty.

Tide pool at the Sebastian Inlet State Park.
Tide pool at the Sebastian Inlet State Park.

On the pier, several people were fishing, and it appeared things were back to normal. We were there a few days ago and could hardly breathe due to the air quality. But Saturday, things seemed better.

With the winds out of the west, a cold front arrived. Experts are hoping that the cold front moved the rest of the Red Tide out of the sea.

There are still dead fish, mostly mullet, showing up in the Indian River Lagoon. We believe these fish came in from the ocean and then ended up on the banks of the Indian River Lagoon.

According to the Red Tide status with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), three areas tested positive for Red Tide in the Indian River Lagoon. One area, north of Sebastian near Micco at the county border, tested high. The test results of the two other regions, east of Sebastian, were medium. These tests were conducted on Oct. 23 and Oct 24. Another update is expected on Monday, Oct. 29.

Video at Sebastian Inlet and beaches showing good conditions:

So far, there has been no evidence that fish or other sea life died in the Indian River Lagoon as a result of Red Tide. The dead fish, mostly mullet, died several days before entering the lagoon through the Sebastian Inlet. We are still monitoring the lagoon and talking with FWC.

Some experts say they are not convinced even though things appear to be normal for now. They say Red Tide could come back when the winds change direction. Others say this could be the end of Red Tide for Indian River County because of the cold front.

Either way, only time will tell, and we should know more this coming week. Until then, we will continue to bring you updates.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.