CDC lake study comments close November 18

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will close the public comment period on a proposed study of persons exposed to algae in Lake Okeechobee on Nov. 18. CDC-2019-0079, published Sept. 17 in the Federal Register, proposes a collection project titled “Aerosols from cyanobacterial blooms: Exposures and health effects in a highly […]

Algae task force prioritizes regional storage projects

More regional water storage, projects to address legacy nutrients and stricter rules about septic tanks were all identified as priorities by the scientists on the Florida Blue Green Algae Task Force. Following a series of meetings to discuss water quality issues in Florida, the Blue-Green Algae Task Force drafted a series of recommendations for the […]

Algae task force considers recommendations

NAPLES — The Department of Environmental Protection Blue Green Algae Task Force worked on recommendations on Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs), Best Management Practices (BMPs), septic systems, sewage spills and stormwater storage and treatment at their Sept. 25 meeting at Florida Gulf Coast University. BMAPsThe task force noted the BMAPs have been hindered by local […]

Blue-green algal blooms bring health risks

NAPLES — “We know that blue-green algae isn’t just something that is in the water. It is something that can affect our health. We’re dealing with old organisms that go back almost 3.5 billion years,” explained Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees at the Sept. 24 meeting of the Department of Environmental Protection Blue Green […]

FDEP: Algae potential ‘significantly reduced’ in lake

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection reported no algae blooms the week of Sept. 13-19. Water samples collected from Lake Okeechobee contained no dominant species of algae and no toxins. No algal bloom conditions were observed by the samplers. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration satellite imagery for Lake Okeechobee for that week shows that bloom […]

Task force focuses on preventing HABs

FORT PIERCE — Members of Florida’s Blue-Green Algae Task Force said emphasis should be on preventing harmful algal blooms (HABs) and expressed concerns about potential side effects of trying to treat HABs in the water. Preventing, combating and cleaning up HABs were among of the topics of discussion at the Aug. 1 meeting of the […]

Algae at Port Mayaca lock contains toxins

PORT MAYACA — A sample from an algae bloom within the wing walls of the water control structure at Port Mayaca on June 26 contained the toxin microcystin at a level of 26 micrograms per liter according to the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation test. The Environmental Protection Agency considers levels about 8 micrograms per […]

Department of Health shares tips on algal blooms

The Florida Department of Health provided this list of Frequently Asked Questions about Cyanobacteria/Blue Green Algae. What are cyanobacteria/blue-green algae? Blue-green algae are a group of organisms that can live in freshwater, salt-water or in mixed “brackish” water. Most of us know them as ”pond scum.” They also have been found to share some characteristics […]

CDC to study fishing guides

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tentatively announced plans to conduct a study on fishing guides to find out whether algal blooms on Lake Okeechobee are related to any health issues. The CDC plans to recruit about 50 fishing guides and charter boat captains to study any potential health effects of long-term exposure […]

Nutrient pollution comes from ‘everywhere’

At their May 8 workshop meeting, the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board was briefed on the complicated issue of nutrient loading into waterways. The nutrient load from north of the lake is a complicated issue. Even the term “nutrient pollution” can be confusing explained Tom Frick, director, Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration, […]