UPDATE: Riviera Beach officials have closed the city’s municipal beach for swimming after a lifeguard found blue-green algae near the shore, a city official said.
The closure came about an hour after Palm Beach County officials said they were closing Peanut Island to swimming because algae was found near the popular swimming and snorkeling spot.
UPDATE: The blue-green algae bloom now has spread to Peanut Island, and officials have made the decision to close the beaches and waterfront around the popular swimming, snorkeling and boating destination.
A Palm Beach Post reporter and photographer spotted the algae Friday afternoon along the east side of the island, near a bustling area where people continued to swim and snorkel.
Lt. Dylan Owens, a lifeguard on the island, said staff was told the water would be closed throughout the holiday weekend, and a state official would come to the island Tuesday to test the water.
The amount of algae spotted in small waves that were lapping against the island’s eastern shore was minimal, about enough to fill a 1-cup measuring cup.
Owens said people may still visit the island to walk its paths, visit the historic JFK Bunker and sit on the beach — just don’t expect to get in the water.
Tourism officials have added live web cams for residents and visitors to monitor beach conditions: http://www.palmbeachfl.com.
This story will be updated.
EARLIER STORY: An algae bloom was spotted Friday in the Intracoastal Waterway near West Palm Beach.
Palm Beach Post photographer Lannis Waters found the bloom along the Lake Trail near the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, which sits on the eastern side of the the Intracoastal.
West Palm Beach’s waterfront, a tourism hot spot where out-of-towners and locals can rent paddle boards and kayaks, sits to the west.
The spotting comes on the eve of the summer’s largest beach and boating weekend.
Palm Beach County tourism and environmental officials are set to meet with the media on Friday afternoon to discuss algae blooms in local waterways.
So far, the blooms have been limited to the water in and around the C-51 Canal, which is used to dumped runoff from inland Palm Beach County into the Intracoastal Waterway.
Staff photographer Lannis Waters contributed to this report.