Agency: Algae Bloom In Lake Okeechobee Not Toxic

Jul 31, 2017

State environmental agencies say an algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee is not toxic.

But environmental groups want more information.

The Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District collected six samples from Lake Okeechobee’s northern perimeter.

Aerial surveys also have been conducted. But Paul Gray of Audubon of Florida says the public needs to know more about where to boat and fish safely.

“No one’s mapped it, and this is a health and safety threat for Floridians,” Gray says. “And I just can’t believe our agencies aren’t out there getting a better assessment of what’s going on.”

Toxic algae blooms aren’t well-understood. Some emit toxins only sporadically. Toxic blooms gripped Florida last summer, prompting emergency declarations in four counties.