Is there toxic algae in Indian River County?

Testing being done on Oslo boat ramp samples
Posted at 6:58 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 18:58:05-04

For most of the summer, the focus of the algae crisis has been in Martin County.  Monday, samples were being taken near the Manatee Pocket in Port Salerno.  But there are some concerns that algae is being spotted in places well north of there. 

Shane Brosche has lived a quarter mile from the Oslo Boat Ramp in Indian River County for a quarter century.  Last week, he saw something he had never seen before.

"As I started walking closer, you saw big bubbles of green that were definitely not right," he recalled.

He took lots of pictures of his discovery.  Blue-green algae could be seen in the photos lining the banks.          

"I have never seen this and I would not go kayaking through that stuff," said Brosche.       

Monday, there was no neon green sheen in the water at the boat ramp, but there were clumps of what looked like algae that had turned black.  Another sign of the presence of algae was the smell.  It was similar to the noxious odors that plagued some Martin County marinas throughout the month of July.

Rolando Pena goes to the boat ramp to fish several times a week.  He’s noticed the changes recently.

“There is a lot of algae that comes in and it just smells bad," said Pena.
Brosche wants people to be aware that algae can pop up anywhere.  His pictures got the attention of the Department of Environmental Protection, which took samples from the boat ramp last week.  We should know soon what they reveal.