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See Algae On The St. Johns River? Florida Officials Want To Hear From You

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
This map shows test sites the DEP used last month.

Florida environmental officials want to hear from boaters who spot potentially dangerous algae on and around the St. Johns River.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is launching a hotline for reporting algae blooms. That’s after tests last month showed toxic blue algae was present in Doctors Lake and Julington Creek.

The levels of toxicity were considered very low, but officials want to be able to act quickly if more of the nasty stuff pops up.

They’re asking folks to call 855-305-3903 or Nate Gargasz at 386-329-4203, or use an online reporting systemas soon as they spot it, or if they suspect algae is causing their pets to become sick. They say animal illness is a sign that the toxic algae could soon cause health problems for people too. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP