August 16 - 22, 2019 - There were 28 reported site visits in the past week (8/16 - 8/22) with 27 site visits resulting in samples collected. Algal bloom conditions were observed by the samplers at only 8 of those sites.
NOAA satellite imagery for Lake Okeechobee continues to indicate medium bloom potential, with approximately 25% coverage in the northeastern portion of the lake. Imagery indicates that estuaries remain free of bloom potential. South Florida Water Management District collected samples on 8/19 at the S79 structure and at four locations on Lake Okeechobee in areas of with the highest bloom potential. Samples were also collected at the S308C structure on 8/21 and the C44S80 structure on 8/22. No algae was visible at the S79 and S308C structures and the four lake locations at the time of collection. Streaks of algae on the water’s surface were visible upstream of the C44S80 structure (analytical results pending).
St. Johns Water Management District staff collected samples at seven locations along the St. Johns River on 8/19. Microcystins were not detected in any of the samples. Low levels of saxitoxin (0.14 ppb or less) and cylindrospermopsin (0.08 ppb or less) were detected in five samples, where only low levels of saxitoxin (0.10 ppb) were detected in samples from the Welaka Boat Ramp and near Buffalo Bridge. St. Johns Water Management District staff revisited and collected one sample at the center of Lake Washington in Brevard County on 8/19. No toxins were detected. Satellite imagery of the St. Johns River continues to show no bloom potential.
DEP collected two samples near Fort Pierce on 8/21. These samples were dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa however, toxins were not detected. The Park Shore Marina area was revisited by DEP staff on 8/20 and two samples were collected. Toxins were not detected in either of the two samples, although one sample was dominated by Dolichospermum planctonicum. No toxins were detected in seven other samples collected in locations from Charlotte, Collier, Leon, Martin, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties. DEP staff collected two samples from Mosquito Lagoon area on 8/22 (analytical results pending).
Algae continues to be observed in Ft. Lauderdale canals and along the New River. DEP collected samples collected at the New River Canal Boat Ramp and Canal at 16th Street Bridge on 8/12. These samples were dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and had non-detect and 11.06 parts per billion microcystins, respectively. The 16th Street Bridge location was revisited by DEP staff on 8/15, as well as sites East of Bill Keith Preserve Park and at Hendricks Bridge (analytical results pending).
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 by visiting Field and Lab Details on 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.