Algae making reappearance on Treasure Coast

Full week of max freshwater releases from Lake O
Posted at 6:40 PM, Sep 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-29 08:14:26-04

At former Martin County algae hot spots in Rio, and under the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart, there was no algae easily spotted Wednesday.

But at a marina in North River Shores, there were small green specs.

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At the St. Lucie Lock and Dam, on the other side of the gates, you can see green slicks of algae as fish poke their heads above the surface.

But just because we aren’t seeing massive algae blooms, it doesn’t mean the news is all good.

Over at the Florida Oceanographic Society, Pam Hopkins shows the tools their volunteers use to take water samples throughout the Indian River Lagoon.

She takes that data and compiles their weekly river report card.

“Gives us a snapshot of what’s happening in the river and estuary system," said Hopkins.

She points out a number of reports this week where there was zero salinity in the lagoon. Last week, the health of the river was given a D-plus.  

“It’s not going to be better (this week). "We’re still getting the releases and that always has an effect on the upstream areas," said Hopkins.

The Army Corps of Engineers will decide on Thursday whether to continue the maximum amount of freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

Right now, more than a billion gallons of water have been entering the St. Lucie Estuary through the St. Lucie Lock.