From the “in case you missed it” file, algae has been flourishing this year in Lake Okeechobee, Florida at levels 40 times higher than standards acceptable to the State, smelly decaying globs, and lots of finger pointing. One source for the algae causing pollution is the sugar industry whose phosphorus runoff has been cited as a bloom source in the past. Others are pointing the finger at water managers from the federal government who have been releasing increased amounts of nutrient laden water from the Lake through the St. Lucie Canal which flows to beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.
Tying it back to our State, our legislature backed off their proposal to eliminate nutrient strategies in North Carolina and focused again on delaying the measures only for Jordan Lake. Efforts to shore up these strategies, however, are needed as controlling of nutrient loads remains a challenge and algal blooms continue to plague our state’s waters. Controlling nutrients loads may not be a pillar of state legislative candidate campaigns, but nutrient control measures the state has enacted should be maintained and bolstered to keep the great green gobs from appearing in our waters.