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Marine scientist on new Brevard algae scare: 'I'd go in it'

Oceanography professor says green water likely not a threat

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Green water appearing in some canals in Indian Harbour Beach is upsetting people living there.

"It is sad seeing it floating around," said Indian Harbour Beach resident Nate Gross.

He says it's another Brevard algae scare that should be taken seriously.

"The people that see it every day probably are more concerned than those who just see it on the news, but it's good to get the coverage out and make people aware of what's going on," said Gross.

What's going on according to marine scientist Kevin Johnson is nothing to be alarmed of.

"I have no reason to believe that there's a major toxic problem going on here," said Johnson, an FIT oceanography professor.  "I'd go in it. I wish I had a kayak right now. I'd go swimming," he said.

Johnson does not believe there's a problem with the water because of samples tested by his team at FIT.

Johnson says this green algae is not the "superbloom" algae of 2011 or the brown tide that killed massive amounts of fish earlier this year, or the toxic blue-green algae of south Florida.

"It's associated with fresh water," said Johnson speaking about the blue-green algae.  "It couldn't live here."

Johnson also believes the algae is not likely to blame for eight manatees the FWC says have died in the Indian River Lagoon since May.

The FWC says their carcasses contained seaweed.

"I'd be comfortable getting in the water myself if they said it was all right but I hope they continue to monitor it," said Gross.

The green water is near where the county dumped more than a million gallons of sewage in May.

It's unknown if that's to blame for the discoloring.


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