The seeds are planted for another blue-green algae outbreak in the historic Everglades system as the base of the marine food chain is active and temperatures are warming.
Algae has been found in Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River for the past few weeks, although toxin levels are low to non-existent, according to Florida Department of Environmental Protection records.
“We’re well ahead of where we were this time last year in terms of spatial expanse but nowhere near the scum we were seeing in July and August,” said Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani. “It’s already here. It’s in the estuary. We’re just hoping it won’t get much worse.”