Manasota Key residents concerned about recent algae bloom outbreak

Blue-Green Algae detected in Lemon Bay

ENGLEWOOD (WWSB) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) recently took samples and confirmed that it was a form of blue algae that they are seeing all across the state.

Some Manasota Key residents who live along Lemon Bay are concerned over a pungent smelling blue algae growing in the water.

The state is saying they are seeing that blue algae as far north as St. John’s County all the way south to Lake Okeechobee and east in St. Lucie.

For the last two weeks, Englewood resident Barbara Guyot has been dealing with a smelly blue-green sludge right in her backyard.

“This isn’t Red Tide,” Guyot said. “There’s something that I felt was wrong.”

She is right as the FDEP says it’s a form of blue-algae, also known as Cyanobacteria. The agency says the bacteria is popping up all over the state.

They are common in freshwaters, brackish and marine waters forming dense mats if the right condition exists. Even worse, the bacteria releases Cyanotoxins which can cause skin rashes and even breathing problems.

“It felt like you couldn’t breathe it,” Guyot said. “It was in your throat. I don’t normally feel things, but I am feeling this.”

Another resident says the smell is getting to him as well. He has been living the area for over a decade and he says this is the worst case he has ever seen.

“Well the fly population was picking up and the smell was getting worse,” Englewood resident Dan Moriarty said.

These blooms are routinely monitored and retested according to FDEP, but Guyot is just hoping it does not get any worse.

“It’s going to contaminate the bay,” Guyot said. “This may very well be washed back out. I am worried about the birds and the fish. This is not good.”

FDEP has a hotline where residents can report these algae blooms.

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