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Algae blooms make October appearance on First Coast

8:50 AM, Oct 8, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tints of green in the St. Johns River are evidence of algae blooms that covered parts of the St. Johns River like a carpet this weekend.

"You could draw with a stick and it was so thick," said Steve Crowder who saw the bloom both Friday and Sunday at the Florida Yacht Club in Ortega.

The St. Johns Riverkeeper says reports flooded in about blooms from Arlington all the way to Clay County.

"It depletes oxygen from the system so this is problematic for fish, shrimp and crabs," said riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman who has been busy taking samples for testing.

Algae blooms develop from chemical runoff like lawn fertilizer.

Warm weather combined with rain and runoff is a combination that feeds a bloom.

"We say don't touch it, don't get near it and definitely don't consume it and don't eat fish pulled from it," said Rinaman.

The riverkeeper says samples send to the lab this week should give insight within a few days just what toxins are present in the water.

You can help prevent algae blooms in the river by:

  • Clean up after your pets, your pets waste can runoff into the river.
  • Plant plants that are native to Florida, then you don't have to use so much fertilizer that can go into the St. Johns. 
  • Maintain your septic system, the Florida Department of Health has some guidelines including having a licensed contractor inspect the tank every three to five years.  

Receive more information on how you can help the algae bloom from the St. Johns River Water Management District.

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