Similar blue-green algae problem seen beyond Southwest Florida

A rotten smell that is coming from bright green gunk floating in the water. Sound familiar? We are not talking about harmful blue-green algae that invaded our waterways last year. But something similar that is plaguing beaches halfway across the world.

WINK News met Sally Mullins last summer when blue-green algae plagued her backyard canal. She said it was horrible and a constant reminder still lingers on her phone and little green spurs she sees pop up in the canal by her home.

“Oh, so much better,” said Mullins now. “The water’s been clean and clear. You can see fish and wildlife coming back.”

Blue-green algae is not coming back this summer, but other parts of the world have similar problems.

“The cyanobacteria, let me be clear, is a worldwide problem,” said Dr. Serge Thomas of the Florida Gulf Coast University Water School. “It’s exacerbated by nutrients and climate change as well, you know, we are going to see more of those algae blooms, sometimes toxic, because water temperatures are rising.”

Dr. Thomas said the problem is being seen in lakes in Georgia, North Carolina and further north. Additionally, he told WINK News France has an algae problem, too, similar but not blue-green algae.

“It’s actually green macroalgae, so macro as opposition to micro, meaning it’s seaweed and that’s the number one problem we have in Northern France and Brittany,” Dr. Thomas said.

As parts of the world face their water quality issues, Floridians hope our quiet summer continues.

“Let’s hope it never, ever happens again,” Mullins said.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
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