Harmful brown algae bloom plagues Fla. estuary

Algae Bloom
Posted at 6:55 AM, Jun 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-17 06:55:00-04

INDIAN RIVER, Fla. (AP) — Indian River officials are worried about a harmful brown algae bloom they fear will harm the local economy, leaving oyster bars and clam farmers, fishermen and boat builders in trouble.

One of the largest estuaries on the East Coast has recently been choked by a thick, brown sludge. As the brown tide lingers, fish and sea grass are disappearing. Manatees, dolphins and pelicans are also dying in the same area from unexplained causes.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal ( ) reports the St. Johns River Water Management District committed up to $3.7 million in April to research a bloom of the same algae species that occurred last year and a toxic algal bloom that occurred in 2011.

District officials are also launching a major research project to look at the troubling issues in the lagoons.