Local Beach Pollution

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

Bacteria at Shell Point and Mashes Sands and a stinky goo at Wakulla Beach. Residents are confused and many of them aren't even sure which beaches are safe and which are not.

"It concerns me in that it's got to be coming from somewhere, just what it is?" said Tallahassee resident Bob Davis.

Bacteria has shut down the beach at Shell Point. Meanwhile, a smelly algae bloom is keeping swimmers on shore at Wakulla Beach. Residents want to know if there is a connection.

Padraic Juarez, an Environmental Administrator for Wakulla County Health Department, said, "The bacteria that we're finding at Shell Point is in no way connected with the diatom bloom that's going on in Wakulla Beach to our knowledge."

Environmentalists are keeping a close eye on septic tanks. They want to make sure sewage isn't leaking into the Gulf and creating a bio hazard. In fact, health officials plan to go out in a boat and investigate what's behind the bacteria at Shell Point, but they don't think that's behind the stink at Wakulla Beach.

"You can see this bay is very secluded, if there was a problem to occur we would also expect it to be occurring right in here because remember this is where all the development and growth is," said Juarez.

Biologists say some algae blooms are found in nature. To be safe, health officials are testing to see if fecal coliform is behind the bloom.

The following beaches remain closed due to bacteria:

In Taylor County: Dekle, Keaton, and Cedar Beaches along with Hagens Cove.

In Wakulla County: Shell Point and Mashes Sands.

In Franklin County: Carrabelle Beach is closed, but St. George Island has reopened.


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