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Algae Bloom Leads To Smelly Biscayne Bay

KEY BISCAYNE (CBS4/The Miami Herald) – An algae bloom has hit Biscayne Bay and it is possibly one of the biggest in history.

The algae bloom apparently poses no health risks to people, but according to a report by CBS4 news partner, The Miami Herald, it has left the bay smelling like a Porta-Potty.

So far, the paper reports no fish kills either.

Biologists are worried that if the algae bloom continues, it could damage sea grass beds which could disrupt the marine food chain.

Bob Branham, a top fishing guide with three decades experience poling fly-fishing clients across Biscayne Bay's shallows, told the paper he's never seen the bay this bad.

"It's got kind of a greenish tint when you run over it and you get that smell right away,'' said Branham.

He likens the area to a similar algae bloom in the 1990s that affected the Keys.

"Some of those areas have not recovered yet and probably never will,'' Branham told the paper. "It's not a good sign.''

Experts from Miami-Dade County, Biscayne National Park, federal and state agencies and the University of Miami and Florida International University have increased surveys to get an idea of just how big the bloom may be in the bay.

So far, they don't believe it is related to a sewage spill or that it is a result of storm runoff that carries yard fertilizers and pollution.

However, with increased rainfall lately, some runoff concerns aren't being ruled out.

This week's most intense concentrations were in Card Sound south of the Turkey Point nuclear power plant and in the central bay south of the Rickenbacker Causeway.

A weaker bloom was found near the mouths of three major flood-control canals in the southern end of the bay according to the paper.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)


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