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Army Corps of Engineers working to prevent toxic algae

Boats docked at the Pahokee Marina on July 19, 2021.jpg
Posted at 4:59 PM, Jul 19, 2021

PAHOKEE, Fla. — From the C-51 canal to the Pahokee Marina, Palm Beach County has seen a lot of toxic algae this summer.

But after being closed for months, the Pahokee Marina has reopened.

The barriers blocking the road leading to the Pahokee Marina have been removed. People are sitting at picnic tables, and others are walking the perimeter of the marina and fishing again in Lake Okeechobee.

"It was depressing to see it closed, and once that blue-green sludge was out of here, there was no reason to keep it that way that I can ascertain," said Bob Cartlidge.

The marina reopened Monday after being closed for months because of toxic algae.

Cartlidge has lived on his boat in the marina since 2008. He's taken pictures of the algae over the years.

"It needs to be rectified," Cartlidge said.

The marina has been cleaned and pumps have been installed to help circulate the water.

And now, some believe the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' future plan for managing Lake Okeechobee will help the water quality in Palm Beach County.

"Whats good for Lake O is good for all of the Lake Worth Lagoon watershed, especially the areas in the Glades community the western half of the watershed," said Lake Worth water keeper Reinaldo Diaz.

Diaz said that although the plan is not perfect, he's happy with the choice after the Corps announced whats called "Alternative CC" for its preferred future plan, determining where water from Lako O is sent and how much.

"CC was the best for Lake O and that's at the heart of all our systems, all our watersheds including the Lake Worth Lagoon Watershed," Diaz said.

At the marina, to further improve water flow and cut down on algae blooms, the sheet pilings that created a barrier between the marina and the lake are also being removed.