January 10 – January 16, 2020 - There were 10 reported site visits in the past seven days (1/10 – 1/16) with 10 samples collected. Algal bloom conditions were observed by the samplers at all 10 sites.
NOAA satellite imagery for Lake Okeechobee from 1/16/20 shows approximately 15% coverage of low to moderate bloom potential along the northern, western and southern shore of the lake. Imagery does not indicate any significant bloom activity in the estuaries. South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) staff collected one sample on 1/13 at S77 that was dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and 3.3 parts per billion of microcystins were detected. Three samples were collected on 1/15 by SFWMD staff at Lake Okeechobee stations L006, LZ30 and PALMOUT. Microcystis aeruginosa was dominant at L006 and PALMOUT and was co-dominant with Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii at LZ30. Trace levels (0.26 parts per billion) of microcystins were detected at PALMOUT; no toxins were detected at the other two sites. Lee County staff collected one sample on 1/14 at Franklin Locks-Upstream that was dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa with trace levels (1.06 parts per billion) of microcystins detected. A sample collected by St. Johns River Water Management District staff on 1/14 from St. Johns River Hibernia Point was dominated by Microcystis wesenbergii and had no detectable toxins. DEP collected a sample on 1/12 at Maplewood Creek (direct runoff upstream of Laurel Drive) that was co-dominated by Microcystis wesenbergii and Dolichospermun circinale but no toxins were detected.
DEP collected a sample on 1/14 at Lake Grace that was dominated by Coelosphaerium dubium, and trace levels (0.77 parts per billion) of microcystins were detected. Results for samples collected on 1/16 at the C51 canal at Kirk Road in Palm Beach County and at Lake Minneola in Lake County are still pending.
Results for three samples collected last week on 1/9 by DEP at Scott Lake West, Tiger Lake and Lake Hunter are now available. At Scott Lake West, microcystins were detected (2.2 parts per billion), and for Tiger Lake and Lake Hunter, trace levels (0.53 and 0.81 parts per billion, respectively) of microcystins were 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 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 to stay out of water where algae is visibly present as specks, 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.