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Blue Green Algae Releasing Toxins Near the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam

By Renay Rouse

July 24, 2015

(Martin County, FL) – Earlier this week, staff from the South Florida Water Management observed an algal bloom at the Port Mayaca Lock on the east side of Lake Okeechobee. The SFWMD collected samples for toxin analysis. The samples were processed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Lab results of the water management district’s sampling event were received today confirming the presence of the toxin, microcystin.

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is urging residents to avoid contact with visible algae in waters near the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam. Exposure to water containing algae toxins may cause nausea and vomiting if ingested and rash or hay fever symptoms if touched or inhaled.

Sunlight, temperatures, physical conditions, precipitation and the water’s nutrients contribute to the formation of algae.

If you spot blue-green algae, contact the Department of Environmental Protection at 561-681-6600.

To report fish kills or abnormal fish behavior call Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-800-636-0511.

For more information about cyanobacteria/blue-green algae visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins/cyanobacteria.html