Experts concerned over algae impact on wildlife

Posted at 8:27 PM, Jun 27, 2016

STUART, Fla-- As the blue-green algae continues to grow and spread across the Treasure Coast, so do the concerns over the impact it will have on the wildlife, especially the birds.

“I think they’ll be the indicator species because of their fishing technique and their fishing locations," said Dan Martinelli, the executive director of the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center.

Martinelli says right now they are keeping a close eye on birds like pelicans, herons and gulls. These are birds that eat the fish in local waterways now covered in green slime, some of that algae already testing positive for toxins.

“We are very much concerned and we are very much on the look out for it. Unfortunately unlike human patients, our patients, they don’t give us a history so they can’t tell us where they’ve been or what they’ve done," said Martinelli.

Fish ecologist Dr. Zack Jud with the Florida Oceanographic Society says algae in general, toxic or not, could cause fish kills. Jud says this amount of toxic algae is unprecedented in our waterways, and at this point, no one really knows what or how bad the impacts will be.