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Martin County officials hoping to start cleaning algae by the end of week

Posted at 10:59 PM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 11:47:49-04

Martin County officials were hoping to start cleaning algae out of local waterways early this week but expect now to get started by the end of the week.

John Maehl, Martin County’s Ecosystem Restoration Manager, says the county is getting closer to hiring companies to vacuum the algae out of the water in select areas.

The algae would be vacuumed into a tanker truck, then hauled to a local facility for proper treatment and disposal. 

Maehl says it is taking a little longer to get that facility set up, but he is hopeful cleanup could begin Thursday.

He updated Stuart City Commissioners Monday night on the county’s plan, but also urged city leaders to remember this is only a band-aid.

“Of course, we always emphasize that this is mitigating a symptom, but the true problem of the water quality still exists and we need to keep our focus on the long-term projects that are ultimately going to provide relief from experiencing these in the first place,” Maehl said.

This is the county’s first year taking on algae clean up effort. 

Officials have surveyed the waterways by drone to determine which areas need the most immediate attention for cleaning algae.

The county has also set up a new page on its website for people to make a ‘request for service’ for algae cleanup which reports directly to the contractor leading the cleanup effort.