algae blooms

WQCS

Four counties along Florida's Treasure Coast make up a cluster with high rates of both deaths from liver disease and algae blooms.

TCPalm reported Sunday that the cluster in Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties is the only one of its kind in the state.

Nationwide, there are 65 such clusters, according to researchers at Ohio State University.

While the Ohio State study found a suspicious link with a toxin commonly found in blue-green algae, it did not go so far as to confirm that blooms cause liver disease.

Amy Green / WMFE

Government scientists are seeing a surprising surge in phosphorus in North America’s lakes and streams.

That’s the nutrient responsible for harmful algae blooms like those plaguing Florida’s Indian River Lagoon and other waterways.

A couple researchers created fake mangroves in Manasota Key to bring back marine life that was lost from development. Along Florida’s coasts are seawalls-- built to prevent the shoreline from eroding. But that defense sometimes means removing natural habitats. Experts are now trying to turn these solid barriers into thriving ecosystems.

Indian River Lagoon Cleanup Gets More Funding

Mar 1, 2017
Amy Green / WMFE

Cleanup for the Indian River Lagoon is getting a $24 million infusion from the state.

WQCS

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he'll push state legislators to spend millions to battle the massive algae bloom fouling some of the state's southern rivers and beaches.

Scott Declares Emergency Over Treasure Coast Algae Blooms

Jun 30, 2016
WQCS

With widespread algae blooms causing beaches to be closed in Martin County, Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for Martin and St. Lucie counties on Wednesday.

  The Indian River Lagoon stretches about 156 miles along the Florida's east coast. And it's where Laurilee Thompson has her earliest memories.

“I had a little tiny rowboat when I was 6-years-old . . . There were barnacles and oysters and sea squirts,” the Titusville resident recalled. “You know even just the pilings in  the sea walls were alive. . . the cone Jellies used to come in the spring . . . and you get this big green explosion. There were entire ecosystems just along the sea wall.”

Something is wrong in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

Over the past year, record numbers of dolphins, manatees and pelicans have turned up dead in the 150-mile-long estuary that runs along Florida's Atlantic Coast. Bouts of algal blooms have flourished in the waters. All the signs point to an ecosystem that is seriously out of balance. The crisis has mobilized scientists, residents and elected officials in Florida.

An Ailing Lagoon