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Toxic Algae A Concern On Some Waterways This Holiday Weekend

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EDIE WIDDER / VIA ST. JOHNS RIVERKEEPER
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This is a 2018 file photo of an algal bloom at Blue Cypress Lake.

If your Memorial Day plans include boating on the St. Johns River, the St. Johns Riverkeeper has a warning for you.

The environmental watchdog group says toxic blue-green algae has been found from Lake George in Volusia County up to the Ortega River Marina in Jacksonville.

The toxins can cause everything from skin rashes, stomach cramps and difficulty breathing to liver and nervous system problems.  They’re also harmful to pets.

To stay safe, the Riverkeeper recommends avoiding scummy, foamy water and not eating fish or crabs caught in contaminated water.

Anyone who spots algae blooms are urged to report them to the Florida Environmental Protection Department and the St. Johns Riverkeeper. Include the time, date, and location, and submit photos if possible.

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