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Toxic Algae Bloom In Doctors Lake Threatens Swimmers' Health

Blue-green algae makes swimming in Doctors Lake in Clay County an unhealthy activity.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A blue-green algae bloom in Doctors Lake is posing a serious health risk to swimmers.

Lisa Rinaman said water samples taken the week of July 10 detected the presence of microcystin toxin in the Clay County lake that feeds into the St. Johns River. 

Rinaman said the concentration of microcystin in the Clay County lake was more than three times higher than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for human exposure.

“And we’re very concerned because Doctors Lake is very popular,” she said, “not only with boaters and fishermen but also there’s a Boy Scout camp there.”

Samples taken from Doctors Lake by the St. Johns River Water Management District on July 12 confirmed the Riverkeeper’s findings, Rinaman said.

“We were hoping the state would issue a health advisory,” she said, “but unfortunately they decided just to do a regular warning telling people to stay away from algae without notifying the public that they could potentially be in harm’s way.

Blue-green algae blooms are typically caused by excess water pollution. Exposure can cause skin irritation, stomach ailments, itchy eyes, asthma, and, at high levels, liver damage.

To alert the Florida Department of Environmental Protection of an algal bloom, call 855-305-3903 or go to

Contact Cyd Hoskinson at, 904-358-6351 or on Twitter at  @cydwjctnews.


Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit .

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.