Blue-green algae bloom found in Florida's Lake Okeechobee

Scientist says it's 'too soon to freak out'

By Associated Press

Lake Okeechobee. Image provided by Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

PORT MAYACA, Fla. - Scientists say blue-green algae appears to be blooming on the eastern side of Florida's Lake Okeechobee.

A state water management crew discovered the bloom Wednesday near the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam in western Martin County.

Audubon Florida scientist Paul Gray tells Treasure Coasts Newspapers that the new bloom is something to be concerned about, but it's "too soon to freak out."

A sample was sent to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to test for toxins that can cause nausea and vomiting if ingested.

Florida had the worst blue-green algae bloom last year in the state's history. That was coupled with a devastating red tide outbreak along the state's beaches that caused respiratory irritations in people and killed sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and fish.

The map below, provided by Florida Department of Environmental Protection, shows where algae samples have been taken within the past three months.

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