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Blue-green algae updates

Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 08:45 am

August 5 – August 11, 2022 –  Algal bloom conditions were observed at 12 sites of 30 samples reported in the past seven days with 29 samples collected, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reported on August 12.

Satellite imagery for Lake Okeechobee from 8/10 shows approximately 35% to 40% coverage of moderate bloom potential with the highest bloom potential in the northwest quadrant of the lake.

The satellite imagery for the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries from 8/10 shows no significant bloom potential in visible portions of either estuary.

Satellite imagery for the St. Johns River from 8/10 shows areas of moderate bloom potential on Lake George and on the mainstem of the St. Johns River downstream of Lake George to approximately Trout Creek.

Please keep in mind that bloom potential is subject to change due to rapidly changing environmental conditions or satellite inconsistencies (i.e., wind, rain, temperature or stage).

Health alerts have been issued for the Hillsborough River, Lake Ivanhoe, Lake Kinsale and Maximo Park in St. Petersburg. (See “Related Articles” below.)

For detailed blue-green algae report, visit the state Department of Environmental Protection.

blue-green algae
Blue-green algae bloom. (Photo courtesy St. Johns River Water Management District.)

Related Articles, Studies and Health Alerts:

Public Open House on Lake Management Plans

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting four open houses on the final drafts of the lake management plans for the Harris Chain of Lakes, Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and Lake Okeechobee. 

After gathering input and feedback over an 18-month process, FWC staff drafted plans to balance the biological needs of fish and wildlife with the desires of a wide range of stakeholders. To engage the public on the contents of the plans, FWC will be hosting the following four open house public meetings. 

Lake Okeechobee (Okeechobee): Tuesday, Aug. 16, 6-8 p.m. at Okeechobee County Civic Center, 1750 U.S. Highway 98 N, Okeechobee, FL 34972.

Lake Okeechobee (Clewiston): Wednesday, Aug. 17, 6-8 p.m. at the John Boy Auditorium, 1200 W C Owen Ave., Clewiston FL 33440.

Harris Chain of Lakes: Thursday, Aug. 18, 6-8 p.m. at the Tavares Community Center, 100 E Caroline St., Tavares, FL 32778.

Kissimmee Chain of Lakes: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 6-8 p.m. Kissimmee Civic Center, 201 E Dakin Ave., Kissimmee, FL 34741.

For questions related to the management plans or upcoming open houses, contact Ben Shepherd at bshepherd@inwoodinc.com or 407-971-8850 or visit MyFWC.com/Lake-Plans.


More from Florida Rambler: The Florida Red Tide Report


Florida Department of Health

Blue-green algae

In water bodies with blue-green algae, if people or animals splash or if boats create wakes, the cyanotoxins in the algae can release into the air. The toxins mix with water droplets and spray—that’s how people and animals can inhale the toxin. These toxins can’t pass through your skin easily so swallowing large amounts of contaminated water is what causes illness. This algae is blue, bright green, brown or red, and can have a strong odor like rotting plants. Pets can become sick from blue-green algae so keep them out of those areas and away from contaminated marine animals and fish.

SYMPTOMS? Stay away from blue-green algae.  For some people, blue-green algae can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. People who are very sensitive to smells can have respiratory irritation. Sometimes, high exposures of toxin can affect the liver and nervous system.
If you come into contact with blue-green algae, get out of the area and wash off with soap and water. See your doctor if you think blue-green algae has made you sick.

CONTAMINATED WATER. Water from areas with blue-green algae can make animals and people sick—stay away from these areas.

SWIMMING. Don’t swim in or around blue-green algae.

BLUE-GREEN ALGAE AND FISH.  Fish tested from water with blue-green algae show that cyanotoxins don’t accumulate much in the edible parts — muscle or fillet — of fish, but can in other organs. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water. Throw out guts. Cook fish well.

blue-green algae

More related stories

To cut algae in St. Johns, Jacksonville weighs pilot project to filter city’s drainage, Florida Times Union


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