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A Study Into Toxic Algae’s Resilience In Brackish Estuaries

The sun sets behind the lock and dam on Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River. Photo by Amy Green

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There’s a new study into the resilience of Lake Okeechobee’s toxic algae as it flows from the fresh water lake into the brackish estuaries.

The findings could help water managers make better decisions about how much water to release from the lake.

The study by the U.S. Geological Survey examined how much salinity is too much for the fresh water algae. The answer is about 18 grams of salt per 1,000 grams of water.

Barry Rosen of the U.S. Geological Survey says the findings could help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make more informed decisions about how much water flows from Lake Okeechobee and when.

“They could say, ‘Oh look. Salt water is coming all the way up here during high tide, and during low tide it’s way out over there.”

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency this summer in seven counties in response to the toxic algae in the state’s largest lake and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s work has been heard on NPR and ... Read Full Bio »

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