April 30 - May 6, 2021 – There were 51 reported site visits in the past seven days (4/30 – 5/6), with 51 samples collected. Algal bloom conditions were observed by the samplers at 42 of the sites.
The satellite imagery for Lake Okeechobee from 5/3 showed low to moderate bloom potential along the shoreline of Lake Okeechobee, with the heaviest accumulation along the southeastern shoreline. No bloom potential was observed in visible portions of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie river and estuary systems. The satellite imagery for the St. Johns River from 5/3 was partially obscured by cloud cover and showed low to moderate bloom potential on Lake George and portions of the St. Johns River downstream of Lake George. Please keep in mind that bloom potential is subject to change due to rapidly changing environmental conditions or satellite inconsistencies (i.e., wind, rain, temperature or stage).
On 5/4 and 5/6, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff collected water samples at 12 locations in the area near Port Manatee in Tampa Bay in response to the Piney Point emergency release. Bloom conditions have been observed in the localized area of previous discharges and continue to be monitored. Cyanotoxins were not detected in the 5/4 samples, and the 5/6 sample results are still pending. For daily updates and sampling data results, please visit ProtectingFloridaTogether.org/PineyPointUpdate.
On 5/3, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) staff collected samples at the C43 Canal – S77, C 43 Canal – S79 and the Lake Okeechobee - S308C structures. All three samples were dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and had trace [0.52 parts per billion (ppb)], non-detect and 16 ppb of microcystins detected, respectively.
On 5/3, DEP staff collected samples at Lake Okeechobee – Pahokee Marina Boat Ramp and Lake Okeechobee – Outside Pahokee Marina. Both samples were dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and had 1.2 ppb and non-detect levels of microcystins, respectively.
On 5/3, DEP staff sampled Orange River – Palm Beach Blvd. The sample had no dominant algal taxon and no cyanotoxins detected.
On 5/4 and 5/5, SFWMD staff collected samples from Lake Okeechobee at the following stations. Cyanotoxin results are included in parentheses following each station name: KISSRO.0 (trace, 0.29 ppb); LZ2 (trace, 0.26 ppb); NES191 (1.3 ppb); L001 (trace, 0.74 ppb); NES135 (5.78 ppb); NCENTER (3.3 ppb); EASTSHORE (84 ppb); L004 (6.0 ppb); L008 (17 ppb); L005 (3.8 ppb); POLESOUT (1.6 ppb); POLESOUT1 (3.8 ppb); POLESOUT2 (7.3 ppb); POLESOUT3 (7.8 ppb); KBARSE (0.48 ppb); CLV10A (57 ppb); LZ40 (1.6 ppb); PALMOUT (7.0 ppb); PALMOUT1 (47 ppb); PALMOUT2 (53 ppb); PALMOUT3 (440 ppb); LZ30 (26 ppb); POLE3S (2.2 ppb); RITTAE2 (9.1 ppb); LZ25A (trace, 0.68 ppb); L007 (trace, 0.98 ppb); L006 (6.6 ppb); and PELBAY3 (trace, 0.95 ppb). Microcystis aeruginosa was the dominant taxon in all the samples with microcystin levels greater than 1 ppb, except POLESOUT, which was dominated by Coelasphaerium kuetzingianum.
On 5/4, Lee County staff collected a sample from the Caloosahatchee River – Davis Boat Ramp. The sample was dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and had no cyanotoxins detected.
On 5/4, DEP staff collected a sample from Lake Okeechobee – Clewiston Boat Ramp. The sample was dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and had 6.6 ppb microcystins detected.
On 5/5, DEP staff collected a sample from Lake Deer – 33rd St NW Boat Ramp and Lake Haines – Four Lakes Dock. Both samples were dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and had 2.5 ppb and 1.1 ppb microcystins detected, respectively.
On 5/5, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff collected samples at Indian River – Parrish Park, Banana River – 520 Slick Boat Ramp and Indian River – Eau Gallie Pier. Cyanotoxin samples were not collected. Algal identification results are still pending.
On 5/5, Southwest Florida Water Management District staff collected a sample from Lake Panasoffkee – South Side. The sample was dominated by Woronichinia naegeliana and had no cyanotoxins detected.
On 5/6 DEP staff collected samples from Lake Melva, Trout Lake Canal – 35 Meters from FL-19, Lake Weir – North Shore, M-Canal and the C-44 – S80 (Upstream). Analytical results are still pending.
On 5/6, SFWMD staff collected samples from C51 Canal – S155 (Upstream), Lake Okeechobee – S352 (Lakeside) and Lake Okeechobee – Pahokee Ramp. Analytical results are still pending.
On 4/29, DEP staff collected samples from Lake Winnott – 147 Bakers Acres and Lake Otis – Boat Ramp. The Lake Winnott – 147 Bakers Acres sample had no dominant algal taxon and a trace level (1.4 ppb) of microcystins detected. The Lake Otis – Boat Ramp sample was dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and had 1.2 ppb microcystins detected.
This is a high-level summary of the sampling events for the reported week. For all field visit and analytical result details, please refer to the complete algal bloom map with data table by clicking the “Field and Lab Details” Quick Link from the Algal Bloom Dashboard. Different types of blue-green algal bloom species can look different and have different impacts. However, regardless of species, many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins that can make you or your pets sick if swallowed or possibly cause skin and/or eye irritation due to contact. We advise staying out of water where algae is visibly present as specks or mats or water is discolored pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red. Additionally, pets or livestock should not come into contact with the algal bloom-impacted water, or the algal bloom material or fish on the shoreline.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.