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Algae found in St. Johns River can release toxins

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Updated: 9/05/2013 8:04 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- The sandy banks of the St. Johns River are being invaded with algae, and Action News just learned the green stuff is capable of producing dangerous toxins.

"If you see green slime, stay away from it. Don't let your pets near it. Don't fish out of it. Go to another spot," said Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman.

Half of the test results conducted on the algae reveal the species of the algae. Rinaman says the results show they were the two species they were afraid of: microcystis and anabaena. Both are capable of emitting toxins hazardous to human and animal health.

"They can breed toxins that affect the liver, that can affect the skin, that can affect respiratory systems and also the nervous system," said Rinaman.

Labs are working to see if the algae is actively releasing toxins or if it is floating dormant along the river.

Rinaman says the algae is coming from nutrient pollution from local soils and stormwater runoff.

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