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Be Aware!

Toxic algae outbreaks can look like a thick mat or foamy scum, and can turn water green, brown, orange or red. The scum often smells like raw sewage.

If you see an algae oubreak, stay out of the water. Toxic algae can cause rashes, sores, eye and ear irritation, breathing problems, gastrointestinal upset and even death. Some algae are know tumor promoters producing toxins which attack the nerves and liver.

Keep small children, pets, and livestock out of water suspected of having a toxic algae outbreak. There have been many reported cases of animals dying after drinking highly contaminated water.

Toxic algae outbreaks are caused by sewage, fertilizer, and manure runoff, which carries excess phosphorus and nitrogen into our waters Phosphorus and nitrogen cause explosive algae gowth.

This pollution is preventable, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new limits to keep Florida’s waterways clean. It is important for us to support these pollution limits and let our leaders know we support them.

If you, your pets, or members of your family have been exposed to toxic algae, call Florida’s Aquatic Toxins Honline and let us know.

Florida “Aquatic Toxins” Toll-Free Hotline: 888-232-8635

Have You Been Slimed?


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Federal Register: Water Quality Standards for the State of Florida’s Lakes and Flowing Waters

Legal Actions and Documents

Florida Water Coalition Letter to Congress (7/7/11)

Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Polluters and for Clean Water – press release (8/3/11)

11th Circuit court of Appeals Opinion (8/3/11)

Judge Approves Historic EPA Settlement: EPA and Florida Must Set Limits on Fertilizer and Animal Waste Pollution in State Waters – press release (11/16/09) Consent Decree (pdf)

EPA Proposes Limits on Fertilizer, Animal Waste, and Sewage Pollution in State Waters – press release (1/15/10)

Conceptual Framework for DEP’s Nutrient Standards – June 2011 DRAFT

EPA Final Rule Compared to DEP Proposal



Fact Sheets

The Facts about Sewage, Manure, and Fertilizer in Florida Drinking Water

Resource Guide for Public Health Response to Harmful Algal Blooms in Florida (pdf )

Cyanobacteria (toxic algae blooms)

Additional Photos

Images of Toxic Algae Outbreaks in Florida – Earthjustice