Algae forces Lake Worth neighborhood association to pull out of Raft Race

Water full of algae laps along the Sewell's Point shore on the St. Lucie River under an Ocean Boulevard bridge today. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Water full of algae laps along the Sewell’s Point shore on the St. Lucie River under an Ocean Boulevard bridge today. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

LAKE WORTH — The Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association has pulled out of next week’s 15th Annual Great American Raft Race because of blue-green algae plaguing the Intracoastal shoreline.

“The raft race is a glorious mixture of fun and games and I hate thinking it should be cancelled, but we have a health problem that shouldn’t be ignored,” Carolyn Deli wrote in an email to The Palm Beach Post.

The wildly popular race, scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on July 4 in the Lake Worth Lagoon, is organized by the Neighborhood Association Presidents Council.

Deli said she would hate to see the race canceled, adding that perhaps the NAPC could come with an imaginative game like pickle ball to save the day.

Mary Lindsey, one of the event organizers, declined to comment.

Jon Faust, NAPC president, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Officials in Martin and St. Lucie counties have urged people to avoid swimming at local beaches due to the presence of potentially harmful algae in the water. Algae could be harmful if exposed to skin.

Deli said it’s a shame the issue could impact the event.

“The Raft Race is very popular and a favorite in Lake Worth and I feel very bad that this is happening but the fact is there is a health issue” Deli said.