Riverkeeper: Algal Blooms Spotted In St. Johns River Areas

Jul 6, 2018

South Florida’s lakes and rivers aren’t the only waterways in the state experiencing toxic algal blooms.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said algae is also plaguing the St. Johns River.

“You can see it in different sections of Doctors Lake, Julington Creek and the Ortega River up around the Shands Bridge. And so what we’re asking folks is if they see it to stay clear because it can be highly toxic,” said Rinaman.

Related: Officials Ask Gov. Scott For Lee County Emergency Declaration Over Toxic Algae Bloom

You don’t even have to touch the algae to be exposed to the toxin, according to Rinaman.

“If you’re in a boat, for example, your wake can shake it up into the air so you can breathe it in and it can cause respiratory stress.

Swallowing it she said can result in long term neurological and liver damage.

She urged anyone who comes across green algae to report it to the state’s algal bloom hotline.

Rinaman will talk more about the health of the St. Johns River and take questions from callers on Monday during WJCT’s First Coast Connect at 9 a.m.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter @cydwjctnews.