Environment

NASA Earth Observatory

Scientists found blue-green algae again in Southwest Florida waters this week. The toxic algae has been plaguing beaches on the east coast for weeks now.  Experts say this could get worse on both coasts now because of the summer heat.

Mark Sadowski

Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Lee Counties related to a toxic blue-green algae bloom that’s left portions of Florida’s Atlantic coast covered in a thick layer of foul-smelling algae muck.  In response the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reduced the flow of water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers.

jidanchaomian via Flickr

The thawing diplomatic relationship between the United States and Cuba is opening the door to expanded research opportunities including an ongoing study between Mote Marine Laboratory researchers and their Cuban colleagues to track the movement of sharks through satellite tagging.  Mote shark researchers traveled to Cuba last year to place the first satellite transmitter tags on sharks in Cuban waters.  

Audrey Albrecht / Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

Recent water releases from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River could be the indirect cause of a disfigurement in some shore birds along Florida’s Gulf Coast. WGCU reported in March about royal terns spotted in Southwest Florida with, what looked like, possible third beaks. But experts now say those could actually be their tongues.

The state wants to increase the amount of toxins it can put in Florida’s surface waters. State officials said they’re doing this based on federal guidelines. But some people worry it could harm residents. 

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