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Brown Algae Blooms Again In Troubled Indian River Lagoon

Pineda Causeway, Indian River Lagoon. Photo: Matthew Peddie. WMFE
Pineda Causeway, Indian River Lagoon. Photo: Matthew Peddie. WMFE

Brown algae is blooming again in the troubled Indian River Lagoon.

The algae is the same species that in 2016 was responsible for the worst fish kill in the Indian River Lagoon in recent history. It is associated with nutrient pollution from things like fertilizers and septic tanks.

The bloom comes as Brevard County has just begun a $303 million lagoon clean-up. Kevin Johnson of the Florida Institute of Technology says it's too soon to see results.

"It's more likely to take some decades to get the lagoon back to where it needs to be, and so it's important for people to not get too discouraged here because we're bound to see some blooms and problems along the way."

The brown algae began to flourish weeks ago, transforming the lagoon's once-crystalline water chocolate brown. Half of the 156-mile Indian River Lagoon lies within Brevard County.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.
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