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Health News Florida

Report: Half Of Florida Lakes Have Elevated Algae

Algae in Lake Okeechobee
This is what the toxic blue-algae bloom looked like in Lake Okeechobee from above on July, 2, 2016.

A new state report estimates that half the lake area in Florida contains elevated levels of algae.

The Department of Environmental Protection report assessing the condition of the state's waters from 2012 to 2014 also found that nitrates from fertilizers remain the biggest pollution issue in most waters, especially springs. And it found that saltwater intrusion is an increasing trend in Florida groundwater.

Florida Today reports DEP estimates that almost 70 percent of the 2.9 million acres of Florida's lakes and estuaries were considered impaired.

Algae blooms have gained new national attention following outbreaks of blue-green algae along Florida's southeastern coast. The DEP report notes that nitrate increases are getting worse in smaller water bodies that get less notice than Lake Okeechobee and the estuaries linked to it.