- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (AP) - Thousands of big ,reddish starfish have washed up on Charleston-area beaches, victims of offshore winds which push them out of the water at high tide.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports (https://bit.ly/1CMGCM9) the phenomenon happens a few times each winter on Lowcountry beaches. The starfish are stranded when the tide goes out.

Mel Bell, S,C. Department of Natural Resources fisheries management director, said while it’s not a calamity for the starfish, it could signal trouble.

Bell recalled that in 2011-12, prolonged cold spells dropped water temperatures near the 40-degree mark. Biologists were alarmed when hundreds of thousands of menhaden and starfish washed ashore on Folly Beach. At that temperature, mass die-offs can occur with any number of species, including shrimp.

Water temperatures currently remain in the low 50s.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, https://www.postandcourier.com

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