Algae bloom on Lake Okeechobee raises concern of 2016 repeat

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Algae is blooming on Lake Okeechobee, stoking concerns of a more wide-scale bloom that choked nearby waterways with thick green goo in 2016.

The Palm Beach Post reports that so far the waterways nearest to the lake have been spared, as lake water has not been discharged due to lower lake levels after a spring drought.

Still, state water officials have identified a “significant” algae bloom on the lake due to high temperatures and inflows polluted with runoff from farms and communities.

In 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discharged tens of billions of gallons of lake water into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries after record winter rainfalls.

The resulting algae blooms caused beaches to close, killed marine life and hurt the local economy.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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