Toxic Algae In Florida Makes Its Way Into Congressional Races

Source: NPR/Greg Allen

Photo: Ed Derrico/Unsplash


On Florida’s St. Lucie River, east of Lake Okeechobee, locks and a dam hold water before it races downstream to the estuary on what is known as Florida’s Treasure Coast.

But looking out over the river, Stephen Davis with the Everglades Foundation sees signs of trouble. “There’s a pretty substantial mat of the blue-green algae we see floating on the surface,” the wetland ecologist says. “As soon as these gates are open, the water will pass out into the estuary.”

Peter Girard with the environmental group says, “You can smell it before you see it. And of course, heading into the holiday weekend, you had beach closings around the inlet up and down the Treasure Coast.”

For months now, mats of algae from Lake Okeechobee have been flowing down the river, bringing toxins that can affect people and animals. In beach communities east of the lake, the algae have had a big impact on tourism and businesses.

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Photo: Ed Derrico/Unsplash

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