ONLINE ONLY: Algae washes ashore at Isla Blanca Park

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

A Brownsville HAZMAT team responded to Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island earlier today after an unknown substance washed ashore. After testing the substance officials determined it to be a non-harmful form of algae.

The blue-green algae, described as not a threat to humans, “will tend to foam when it encounters wave action,” a statement released by the City of South Padre Island reads.

South Padre Island police, Cameron County Parks Police and the Coast Guard responded to the scene prior to calling for assistance from the Brownsville HAZMAT unit. Mayor Barry Patel said beach goers were asked to “leave the water as a preventative measure.”

Samples of the algae were tested at the UTRGV Coastal Studies Lab and by the City of South Padre Island. The algae is naturally occurring and was likely pushed ashore along with the seaweed that normally washes ashore, the statement reads.

Cameron County beaches, including Isla Blanca, remain open to the public.

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