Algae bloom fouls Florida Keys

Aug 20, 2006

An algae bloom has turned sea water around the Florida Keys into a thick green sludge.

Experts are debating the cause of the problem, the Miami Herald reported. Many environmentalists blame a project to widen the road down the Keys to four lanes from Florida City to Key Largo.

Others believe that the three hurricanes -- Katrina, Rita and Wilma --hat hit the area are responsible, the Herald said. The storms carried phosphate-rich silt into Biscayne Bay and Florida Bay.

The bloom began 10 months ago, a month after Wilma, and now covers about 175 square miles.

While the algae do not appear to be toxic, the bloom could harm marine life by cutting off sunlight from sea grass and sponges, the newspaper said.

"Here we are nearly a year out and bloom appears to be getting worse," said Peter Frezza, a biologist with Audubon of Florida. "It's spreading north into Barnes Sound and Little Card Sound. It's not dissipating. That's why we're becoming so concerned."

While the state has declined to stop the highway work, contractors in the future will remove mangrove trees cut down for the project instead of using them to create a foundation for the roadway.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: FACT CHECK: Both sides in Keystone XL debate bend facts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Florida manatees dying at record rates

Oct 31, 2013

Toxic algae blooms that deplete the water of essential oxygen are killing a record number of manatees in Florida this year, biologists say.

Recommended for you

FACT CHECK: Both sides in Keystone XL debate bend facts

41 minutes ago

Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf, say the privately funded, $8 billion project is a critically needed piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs ...

Sao Paulo warns of severe water rationing

2 hours ago

Authorities in Sao Paulo, Brazil's richest state and economic hub, have warned they are considering severe water rationing if the country's worst drought in 80 years continues.

Refineries challenge EPA plan to cut emissions

5 hours ago

A rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency that aims to curb emissions from oil refineries and petrochemical manufacturers is causing tensions to flare between the agency and industry groups. The agency is reviewing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.