March 20 – March 26, 2020 - There were four reported site visits in the past seven days (3/20-3/26), with four samples collected. Algal bloom conditions were observed by the samplers at three sites.
The most recent NOAA satellite imagery for Lake Okeechobee from 3/24 shows approximately 5% coverage of low to moderate bloom potential along the northwestern shores of the lake, with some cloud cover. No significant bloom potential was observed in the 3/24 imagery for the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers estuaries; however, some portions of the estuaries were obscured by cloud cover. Imagery from 3/24 for the St. Johns River showed low to moderate bloom potential along the northern shore of Lake George and on the main stem of the St. Johns River, downstream of Lake George.
On 3/23, St. Johns River Water Management District staff collected a sample from the St. Johns River at Shell Harbor and at the Welska Boat Ramp. Neither sample had a dominant algal taxon and no cyanotoxins were detected in either sample. On 3/24, St. Johns River Water Management District staff collected a sample at the Stick Marsh Boat Ramp. The sample had no dominant algal taxon and no cyanotoxins were detected in the sample.
On 3/24, Florida Department of Environmental Protection staff collected a sample on the Hillsborough River, near Yukon. The sample had no dominant algal taxon and no cyanotoxins were detected in the sample.
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.