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Algae Near Southern Indian River Lagoon Deemed Not Toxic

The Indian River Lagoon. Photo courtesy Brevard County

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says an algal bloom in the St. Lucie River near the southern part of the Indian River Lagoon is NOT toxic.

Even though the bloom in the St. Lucie River is not toxic, it is similar to a toxic one that appeared in May in Lake Okeechobee.

Mark Perry of the Florida Oceanographic Society says the toxic algae in Lake Okeechobee does not threaten the Indian River Lagoon, at least for now.

“The salinities in the outer lagoon toward the St. Lucie Inlet and Indian River are about 15 parts per thousand. So this algae does not survive above 10 parts per thousand.”

That’s good news. But many worry the toxic algae in Lake Okeechobee will spread through man-made canals to coastal estuaries like the Indian River Lagoon.

A toxic bloom three years ago gripped the southern Indian River Lagoon, prompting advisories that people stay away from the water.


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