Florida concerned about un-controlled pollution and algal blooms

30 June 2013

While Barack Obama is holidaying in South Africa, here are some end-of-month notices about algal blooms in North America:

Users of Taylorsville Lake (Canada) have been warned about increasing levels of toxicity. In Oklahoma, the US Army Corps of Engineers have increased the list of potentially- toxic lakes to include Keystone Lake, Lake Tenkiller, Lake Eufaula and Skiatook Lake.  A separate report has Green County Lake added to the Oklahoma list.  Fernan Lake in Idaho is today’s addition to the list.  The Dorothy State has the following lakes on warning

  • Logan City Lake – Logan, Phillips County
  • Marion Reservoir – Marion County
  • Memorial Park Lake (Veterans Lake) – Great Bend, Barton Count

and Milford Reservoir on an advisory notice.

In Florida, algal blooms are being associated with a number of problems, including (see report) the death of manatees.

* In Southeast Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, algae outbreaks are causing what Discovery News calls a “mass murder mystery” — a dead manatee floats up about every two weeks. The tally there since last summer is over 111 manatees, along with more than 46 dead dolphins and 300 pelicans.

* In Orlando, the spring-fed Wekiva River is covered by slimy algae and residents are warned to stay away from Lake Harris and Little Lake Harris, which have turned murky brown from another algae outbreak.

* There’s a persistent algae outbreak off the popular tourist mecca of Sanibel Island, and a water treatment plant on Southwest Florida’s Caloosahatchee River that’s supposed to serve 30,000 people shut down; the algae makes the water unusable ­­— even dangerous — for drinking.

* In Jacksonville, residents are seeing signs that the “Green Monster” massive algae outbreak is coming back on the St. Johns River. The Green Monster covered almost 100 miles of the St. Johns with slime in 2005 and 2009, causing public health warnings, fish kills and turning water pea-soup green.

A scientist doing an aerial survey for manatees along the river recently told the Florida Times-Union that he and his pilot suffered “respiratory distress” just flying 500 feet over the algae outbreak (!).

Note To Droplets Readers:  The CyanoAlert and related articles carried by Droplets will terminate at the end of July due to funding constraints. Apologies to all our regular readers but this is beyond our control.

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