State Of Emergency Declared Over Algae In Florida

| by David Bonner

Described as looking like guacamole and smelling like cow manure, a massive amount of blue-green algae has invaded the beaches of Florida's "Treasure Coast."

The source of the algae is reportedly Lake Okeechobee, which flows to the Florida beaches in question, according to The Associated Press. It is the largest lake in Florida and the second largest body of freshwater in the contiguous United States.

Some state politicians are blaming the federal government for the smelly mess, because the Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of regulating the flow from the lake.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, both of Florida, along with Martin County commissioners, have called for the Army Corps of Engineers to stop the flow of water from Lake Okeechobee.

In response, the Corps announced it would begin reducing the flow on Friday.

"A lot of people want to blame Lake Okeechobee, it's an easy target, but there are a lot of factors that contribute to the health of the lagoon," said St. Lucie County spokesman Erick Gill, as quoted by the Orlando Sentinel.

Whatever the cause, the situation is already affecting the economy of local communities, with boaters, fishermen and tourists cancelling reservations.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida declared a state of emergency for the area on Wednesday, adding two additional counties the following day. Rubio is scheduled to survey the affected areas on Friday.

Sources: Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald / Photo credit: Aquatic Solutions UK

Do you think the algae is dangerous?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%