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.
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.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Legal Actions and Documents
Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Polluters and for Clean Water – press release (8/3/11)
EPA Proposes Limits on Fertilizer, Animal Waste, and Sewage Pollution in State Waters – press release (1/15/10)
Images of Toxic Algae Outbreaks in Florida – Earthjustice