Charlotte County beach. Credit: WINK News

Red tide still clinging to Charlotte County coast

Red tide is still clinging to the Charlotte County coast, driving away beachgoers.

The empty beaches is just one sign of the major impact the toxic algae is having on tourism.

Beach goer Alexis Hardman, “People keep coming and paying for parking and then they leave because it’s just so bad.”

“We cant be outside and we’re starting to cough and we’ve only been outside for maybe three minutes,” said another visitor,¬†Beth Richards.

Residents say the toxic algae is causing a ripple effect on the local economy.

Englewood real estate agent Kathy Damewood says she’s notice the impact read tide is having on the housing market first hand. “Waterfront isn’t as, obviously, as desirable. Now people are seeing the downside of owning waterfront.”

“It is cutting down the number of people looking at even the beachfront condos or the condos on Manasota key,” she added.

Damewood says people are questioning if it’s worth the extra money to live by the water only to be stuck indoors avoiding the effects of red tide.

She believes red tide is to blame for the low turnout at a recent open house on manasota key, “Normally we would see a good turnout maybe 12 folks and I think one person stopped by and I really think it’s to do with the traffic or lack of traffic because of the red tide.”

MORE: Red tide hazard issued for portions of Charlotte, Collier counties

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