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New Lake Okeechobee study targets air quality

Posted at 7:00 PM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 08:27:27-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A study of the possible health effects of algae in the air on Lake Okeechobee isn’t exactly welcome news for some who work on the lake.

“We’re not in support of it because it’s just another black eye on lake Okeechobee,” says Ramon Iglesias, general manager of the Roland Martin Marina and Resort in Clewiston.

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“I’m not a scientist, but I can tell you I have guys that have worked at this marina for 20, 25, 30, 35 years that don’t have any health issues," Iglesias said.

The CDC plans to monitor the health of 50 people next year when algae blooms are expected to return.

Past studies, the agency cites, show concern for long-term exposure and health concerns.

However, fishermen who earn their living on the lake say the algae issue is not as bad as it is believed to be and reports about it are now hurting the lake’s reputation.

“I’ve got customers canceling reservations from all over the world thinking this lake is 90 percent covered in algae, which isn’t the case,” Iglesias says.