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In The Indian River Lagoon, A Foul Stew Of Red And Green


The Indian River Lagoon. Photo by Amy Green

Harmful algae blooms are transforming the historically clear water of the Indian River Lagoon into a foul Christmas stew of red and green. 

The blooms began in August, causing sporadic fish kills and prompting health officials to post signs warning of potential toxins. 

Kevin Johnson of the Florida Institute of Technology says two algae species are responsible, both probably cyanobacteria. One appears like pea soup, and the other is more reddish. 

“It is causing a lot of problems right now, and also we’re starting to see evidence of the smaller fish kills, which is a concern. And it makes us wonder what could happen that could tip this into a more severe event.” 

The Indian River Lagoon is considered one of North America’s most biologically diverse estuaries. In Brevard County the lagoon is the subject of a multi-million dollar restoration effort. 

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author 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 ... Read Full Bio »