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Martin County Wants Disaster Declared Over Blue-Green Algae

County officials on Florida's Atlantic coast want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the locks between Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River.

The Palm Beach Post reports the Martin County Commission decided at an emergency meeting Tuesday to ask state and federal authorities to declare a disaster where blue-green algae has closed beaches.

The corps releases water east and west of the lake to relieve pressure on its aging dike. Corps spokesman John Campbell says those discharges are likely to continue as the lake's water level has been rising.

Gov. Rick Scott said the federal government "has not done a good job so far" of directing water south of the lake instead of to the coasts.

State officials say specimens from the area show an "extremely low level of toxins."