WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Phosphorus Pollution Surging In Florida Waterways And Across North America, Scientists Say

Last year's fish kill was only the latest in a series of setbacks for the Indian River Lagoon. Photo by Amy Green

Stay up to date on coronavirus coverage: Listen to WMFE on your radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” or “WMFE” and you’ll be connected.

Government scientists are seeing a surprising surge in phosphorus in North America’s lakes and streams.

That’s the nutrient responsible for harmful algae blooms like those plaguing Florida’s Indian River Lagoon and other waterways.

The Environmental Protection Agency recorded a rise in phosphorus pollution continent-wide between 2000 and 2012.

John Stoddard of the EPA says pristine lakes and streams are most affected, and the cause isn’t well-understood.

“Whatever the cause is we know it needs to be very large in scale. It needs to be able to explain changes at a continental scale, and it needs to be something that operates in these remote and undeveloped areas.”

Stormwater, wastewater and agricultural runoff are the most common culprits. But Stoddard says because these waterways are remote, rain and dust also are suspected.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida COVID-19 news, updates on special programs and more. Support our extended coverage.


WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. She began her career at The Associated Press. Her book on the Everglades, under contract with Johns Hopkins ... Read Full Bio »