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Algal Bloom Sampling Team

Algal Bloom Sampling Team

Join us in the fight against water pollution! Our algal bloom sampling team is a network of citizens acting as the eyes on the river.

Nutrient overload, or eutrophication, from too much nitrogen and phosphorous is one of the most serious water quality problems facing the St. Johns River and its tributaries.

Blue green algae, also called cyanobacteria, are tiny organisms naturally found in all types of water.

Excessive nutrients feed the algae, causing uncontrolled algal blooms that deplete oxygen in the water needed by fish, reduce light that is essential to submerged vegetation, and threaten the health of both humans and aquatic life.

The St. Johns suffers from an excess of nutrients from wastewater treatment plants, industrial discharges, failing septic tanks, storm water runoff, and fertilizers that regularly wash into the river.

  • Blooms can look like a thick mat or foamy green scum and can give off an unpleasant odor.
  • Blue green algae sometimes produce toxins that can result in ear, eye, or skin reactions and hay fever-like or flu-like symptoms.
  • Do not swallow, swim, or wade in water where blooms are present.
  • Do not eat fish caught in the vicinity of a bloom.
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you come into contact with a bloom.
  • Keep pets away from blooms.

For more helpful information about algal blooms and how to avoid exposure to potentially harmful toxins, visit the following website:

Top 10 Blue Green Algae Facts from the Florida Department of Health

Aquatic Toxins - Florida Department of Health

Algae and Cyanobacteria - GreenWater Laboratories

Blue-Green Algae - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

In response to reduced environmental monitoring from agencies, we've decided to engage citizens and create a network of volunteers to take on the task of monitoring and sampling when a bloom occurs on the St. Johns River. We would like to better understand the toxicity levels and occurence of when these blooms happen. 

We've begun an educational series called Know Your Green, which educates and engages citizens to learn more and take action! If interested in joining our Algal Bloom Monitoring Team, please contact Justina Dacey at justina@stjohnsriverkeeper.org.

Know Your Green Video about sampling program.

View the latest: Know Your Green Presentation

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) coming soon....

Watch this video by The Science Of...highlighting the St. Johns Riverkeeper Algal Bloom Program and research at the Marine Science Research Institute.

Little Blue Heron feeding in a cyanobacteria bloom along the shore of Doctors Lake Little Blue Heron feeding in a cyanobacteria bloom along the shore of Doctors Lake
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