The U.S. Coast Guard said a “reddish sheen” was reported on the water in the upper harbor of New York that has been identified as a red tide outbreak, an accumulation of bacteria whose dense concentration turns the affected water reddish brown.
The reddish color was reported at about 7 a.m. and a Coast Guard investigation team was dispatched to the scene, which stretched from the vicinity of the USS Intrepid Museum to Hoffman Island, a distance of 9.5 miles (15 kilometers).
The algae concentration is moving from north to south, down the harbor and out to sea, the Coast Guard said. The algae is a potential health hazard to boaters and swimmers if they ingest tainted water. The concentrated algae also can deplete oxygen in affected waters resulting in fish kills.
The information was released in an e-mailed statement.