Recently, thanks to the efforts of the St Mary’s Riverkeeper, Rick Frey, and his dedicated water sample collectors, blue/green algae has been detected in some of our local waters. The outbreaks in various bodies of water can cause toxic effects. The Sierra Club is sponsoring an informative night at the Fernandina Beach Library community room on Friday, June 16, at 6:30 PM. The guest speaker, Robert Storm, will be speaking about the causes of blue/green algae, its toxic properties, and how you can protect yourself, your pets and the wildlife from its harmful effects.
If it sounds familiar, it may be that you heard or read about the bloom in Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie Estuary and problems in a picturesque waterfront community, Stuart — with homes, restaurants and parks overlooking the St. Lucie Estuary. Commonly found on land and in lakes, rivers, ponds, and in estuaries and marine water, the blue-green algae bloom is caused by a combination of warm temperatures, sunlight, and nutrient-rich waters which can cause blue-green algae to reproduce rapidly, or “bloom”, according to the Washington State Health Department site. A bloom is most common in the summer and fall but can occur anytime. Within a few days a clear lake, pond, or ditch can become cloudy with what often looks like green paint floating on the water, but can also look bluish, brownish, or reddish green. The algae is made up of extremely small organisms that are hard to pick up or hold.
Mr. Robert Storm, a former field science program supervisor for the State of Florida, will present on Blue/Green Algae (cyanobacteria). Mr. Storm is uniquely suited for this discussion. For the last 10 years, he has focused on the ecology of cyanobacteria (blue/green algae) blooms in NE Florida, including working with NOAA on satellite tracking of aquatic blooms. He will also answer any questions from the public about toxic algae blooms on Friday, June 12th at 6:30 pm. at the Fernandina Public Library.