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Worries Bloom Over Lake Okeechobee Algae

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

There are new fears about algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee.

Some reports indicate the blooms span 100 miles in the state’s largest lake, which serves as the watery underpinning for the Everglades and South Florida’s drinking water supply.

Paul Gray of Audubon of Florida says nutrient pollution carried from Central Florida to Lake Okeechobee by large amounts of rain water after Hurricane Irma likely is one cause.

“So far there have not been many reports of toxins. These are the types of algae that can give you toxins, but not always. But remember the biggest bloom months are July and August, so the worst may be ahead of us.”

State leaders including Gov. Rick Scott are taking steps to prevent the algae blooms from spreading in coastal estuaries like the Indian River Lagoon.



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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »