10 tons of dead fish removed from Brevard County beaches

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The call for volunteers continues as Keep Brevard Beautiful organizes cleanups of several Brevard County beaches.

At least 10 tons of dead fish have been removed from the beaches and hauled off to an area landfill.

Volunteers were continuing cleanup efforts Monday at Melbourne Beach.

They carried 5-gallon buckets, looking for spots that might have been missed during this past weekend's most recent cleanup.

Residents said they hope conditions improve quickly, but Keep Brevard Beautiful said the cleanups might be a long-term effort.


"We were overwhelmed this past Friday -- the smell, thousands of fish," beachgoer Sally Dann said. "Then we saw (Keep) Brevard Beautiful in Spessard Holland (South Beach) Park."

The organization's volunteers have spent days cleaning up dead fish from the county's southern beaches.

"Right now, the wind has shifted," said Tony Sasso, the organization's executive director. "It's blowing out, and we love that. But the reality is this could be a long-term event."

Volunteer Erin Harrell said she hopes weather can help change conditions.

"My heart breaks for the west coast of Florida, because they have endured it a lot more than we have. So hopefully with the cooler weather it starts to dissipate," she said. "I know there's a lot of businesses that need people to come out and enjoy the beach and go eat at restaurants."

Recent tests for the algae that cause red tide show higher levels in areas, such as Spessard Holland South Beach Park, Indialantic's James H. Nance Park, Satellite Beach's Pelican Beach Park and Coconut Point Park.

The algae weren't detected in areas near the Cocoa Beach Pier or Cape Canaveral's Cherie Down Park.

"The cooperation between the municipalities, the county, the waste haulers and our great staff has been stupendous," Sasso said.

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