(Photo taken in Stuart, Florida in July 2016)

State tries to remove thick algae mats from Florida river

STUART, Fla. (AP) – State officials are attempting to remove thick mats of algae fouling waters on Florida’s Atlantic coast.

A Treasure Coast Newspapers report quotes Martin County’s environmental restoration manager, Deborah Drum, as saying the state may try a “mechanical” method after other efforts to strain algae from the St. Lucie River.

Drum told county commissioners Tuesday that reducing freshwater flows from Lake Okeechobee seems to reducing the appearance of algae in the river.

A center offering federal loans to affected businesses opened Wednesday in Stuart.

Farther north, unrelated algae blooms trouble the Indian River. According to an Orlando Sentinel report , wildlife officials say changes in the river’s vegetation may have killed eight manatees in the Brevard County river since the end of May. Algae blooms earlier this year caused massive fish kills there.

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