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NOAA satellite shows algae along much of the west, northern sides of Lake Okeechobee

Posted at 10:01 AM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 04:39:40-04

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A satellite image released by NOAA Monday shows algal blooms along much of the west, northwest and northern shores of Lake Okeechobee.

RELATED: CDC studying algae impacts on fishermen| EPA issues recommendations for level of toxin from blue-green algae considered harmful for swimming

NOAA said the algal bloom covers about 130 square miles. However, winds above 4 mph may mix the bloom and clouds may obscure it, leading to an underestimate.

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Currently there are no discharges from the St. Lucie Lock and Dam.

Starting Wednesday, the Corps said they will increase flows from Lake Okeechobee to 200 cubic feet per second at the Moore Haven Lock and Dam for eight hours a day for 10 days. These discharges flow into the Caloosahatchee River on Florida's west coast.

As of Tuesday, Lake Okeechboee is at 11.47 feet.

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers admitted that had previously released toxic water into the St. Lucie Estuary.

In an effort to prevent toxic discharges this summer, the Corps released water from Lake Okeechobee during the winter months to lower the lake. However, that spurred water shortage concerns from West Palm Beach officials if South Florida has a dry summer.