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Worries Bloom Over Lake Okeechobee Algae

Amy Green/WMFE
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

There are new fears about algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee.

Some reports indicate the blooms span 100 miles in the state’s largest lake, which serves as the watery underpinning for the Everglades and South Florida’s drinking water supply.

Paul Gray of Audubon of Florida says nutrient pollution carried from Central Florida to Lake Okeechobee by large amounts of rain water after Hurricane Irma likely is one cause.

“So far there have not been many reports of toxins. These are the types of algae that can give you toxins, but not always. But remember the biggest bloom months are July and August, so the worst may be ahead of us.”

State leaders including Gov. Rick Scott are taking steps to prevent the algae blooms from spreading in coastal estuaries like the Indian River Lagoon.