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Another Toxic Bloom In Lake O? State Says No, But Environmental Groups Want To Know More

Satellite image of Lake Okeechobee showing the cyanobacteria algae bloom. Image courtesy of NASA

Satellite photograph of Lake Okeechobee from July 2016, showing a large cyanobacteria algae bloom. Image courtesy of NASA

State environmental agencies say an algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee is not toxic.

But environmental groups want more information.

The Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District collected six samples from Lake Okeechobee’s northern perimeter.

Aerial surveys also have been conducted. But Paul Gray of Audubon of Florida says the public needs to know more about where to boat and fish safely.

“No one’s mapped it, and this is a health and safety threat for Floridians. And I just can’t believe our agencies aren’t out there getting a better assessment of what’s going on.”

Toxic algae blooms aren’t well-understood. Some emit toxins only sporadically. Toxic blooms gripped Florida last summer, prompting emergency declarations in four counties.

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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 »