Watershed Management: Watershed Planning
Algae blooms are caused by an abnormal increase in the concentration of one or many types of algae in the water column. Blooms can occur in both fresh and salt water systems. They occur when conditions for algae growth are optimal. In Florida, this is usually in the warm wet months where both water temperature and nutrient inputs are highest. Stormwater runoff plays a major role in the occurrence of algae blooms by transporting nutrient enriched water to aquatic systems where they are used by algae to create more algae. A major issue with algae blooms is the depletion of oxygen in the water column that can lead to fish kills. Some algae species create toxins and blooms of these organisms are classified as Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB) and have both economic and cultural impacts. During an HAB fisheries may have to close due the potential threat of eating contaminated organisms and the overall aesthetics of the affected system are diminished.