To fix the reef we first need to fix the land – but where do we start?

photo: To fix the reef we first need to fix the land – but where do we start?

Photo: The Great Barrier Reef, Northern Queensland, Australia

Rivers deliver sediment from land to the ocean. This sediment contains nutrients which can feed microscopic algae in water. But, if there is too much sediment and nutrients, delivered by floods from land-based erosion, algal blooms can occur that have negative effects on the Great Barrier Reef.

The challenge is that sediment comes from many different locations and we need to know … [more…]

As Climate Warms, Algae Blooms In Drinking Water Supplies

Photo: warning signs. As Climate Warms, Algae Blooms In Drinking Water Supplies

Photo: A toxic algae bloom in Oregon’s Detroit Lake caused havoc in May, when toxins made their way into the city of Salem’s drinking water. Oregon has since enacted rules requiring water systems to test for algae toxins. Dirk VanderHart/Oregon Public Broadcasting

The vague warning jolted citizens in and around Salem, Oregon to attention on May 29.

"Civil Emergency in this area until 1128PM," read the text message alert. "Prepare

[more…]

As bouts with killer algae rose, Florida gutted its water quality monitoring

Photo: massive fish deaths and algal blooms. As bouts with killer algae rose, Florida gutted its water quality monitoring network

When Florida Sea Grant director Karl Havens, who is a well-regarded expert on water and has studied pollution all over the world, began hearing about a deepening algae bloom in his own backyard in Lake Okeechobee this summer, he struggled to find information that could tell him what was going on.

State scientists sample water in the lake, but too infrequently to track rapidly evolving algae blooms. Instead, Havens had … [more…]

Commentary: Florida’s great green algae disaster

Commentary: Florida's great green algae disaster — we asked for it ... us and Rick Scott

We asked for it… us and Rick Scott

Imagine for a moment that you see a guy slowly reaching toward a scalding hot stove. Everyone around screams: “Don’t touch it! You’ll hurt yourself!”

But the guy pays them no mind and places his palm flush upon the bright orange burner, only to scream in surprise and agony as his flesh begins to char.

You’d think this man was pretty stupid, … [more…]

White House approves huge reservoir for Lake Okeechobee overflow

photo: noxious blue-green algae. White House approves massive reservoir to hold Lake O overflow

Photo: Algae collects along the the shore of Shepard Park on the St. Lucie River near downtown Stuart on June 12, 2018. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

A massive reservoir to hold Lake Okeechobee overflow got White House approval this week, a key step for the fast-tracked plan to spare northern estuaries from extended assaults of harmful lake water.

The $1.4 billion project slated for state-owned land in … [more…]