Biggest algal bloom ever hits Biscayne Bay

20 July 2013

The Miami Herald reports that

An algae bloom has hit Biscayne Bay and it is possibly one of the biggest in history.  The algae bloom apparently poses no health risks to people, but according to a report by CBS4 news partner, The Miami Herald, it has left the bay smelling like a Porta-Potty. So far, the paper reports no fish kills either. Biologists are worried that if the algae bloom continues, it could damage sea grass beds which could disrupt the marine food chain.  Bob Branham, a top fishing guide with three decades experience poling fly-fishing clients across Biscayne Bay’s shallows, told the paper he’s never seen the bay this bad.

Here are some other algal warning reports for today – gleaned from Friday’s press reporting in the US and Canada (down here in the Southern H conditions are a tad chilly for blue-green algae, but they are still around!):

Kansas: Buhler Lake (besides the Buhler lake, lakes under warning include Memorial Park Lake, also known as Veteran’s Lake, in Barton County, and the Riggs Park Lake and Colwich City Lake, both in Sedgwick County).  Apparently the water in Colwich City Lake is so thick with algae it looks like green clouds!

Kentucky: Barren River Lake (in addition to Rough River, reported earlier this week).

Illinois: The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is warning against coming in contact with water populated by algal blooms.

UK (Milton Keynes): A potentially-toxic algal bloom has been reported for Willen Lake:

Blue-green algal blooms are currently present at Willen Lake – South. We have been advised that it is likely that the bloom will persist throughout this season, declining only at the onset of a change to cooler weather conditions. As a precautionary measure, notices have been posted at Willen Lake – South warning that contact with the algal scum should be avoided. Most water sports activity, including all hire of equipment, has been cancelled over the weekend and activity on the water will be re-assessed on Monday 22 July 2013. Details will be up-dated on The Parks Trust website.

In Surrey, an algal bloom accompanied by lots of dead fish has prompted a rescue effort at Wirral Park lake.  Anglian Water have also issued a general warning for lakes such as Rutland Water.  The heatwave in the UK is providing ideal algal growth conditions in shallow urban lakes and ponds.

From Mexico comes a report of a large bloom of the marine alga, Pyrodinium compressum, in the Mexican Pacific.  This particular alga is commonly associated with cases of fatal toxicosis in humans and also causes massive die-offs amongst crustaceans and fish.  The species contains five hydrophilic paralysing toxins!

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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