Official calls the toxic bloom the worst she's ever seen

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of local emergency in St. Lucie and Martin counties because of a large blue-green algae bloom that is affecting miles of waterways and beaches.

The bloom was triggered by high rainfall, soaring temperatures and nutrient-rich water that was released by the U.S. Corp of Engineers from Lake Okeechobee.

“The smell is so bad it will make you gag,” says resident Mary Radabaugh in The Guardian. “We have red eyes and scratchy throats. We can smell it in our office. It’s terrible.”

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Deborah Drum, the manager of ecosystem restoration in Martin County, called the bloom “unprecedented.”

“This is the worst it’s ever been, and there are no signs that it is improving,” she said.

In response to the crisis, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would start decreasing the amount of freshwater being discharged from Lake Okeechobee.

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Source: The Guardian

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