Blue-Green algae bloom alert issued for St. Johns County

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County has issued a Health Alert. Surface water samples detected the presence of harmful blue-green algae in the St. Johns River at Racy Point.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

- Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom

- Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water

- Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present


- Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins

- Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well

- Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms

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According to the Florida Health website, A “Health Alert” for blue-green algae is triggered by the presence of any detectable level of cyanotoxin in a sample collected from a Florida waterbody (saltwater, freshwater, and brackish water bodies). This Health Alert may be lifted once either of the following occur: 1) negative toxin analyses are obtained from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection-coordinated resampling of the bloom; or 2) a total of 30 days has elapsed since the last sampling date.

Blue-green algae blooms can negatively impact human health and the health of the ecosystems they are found in. For additional information on potential health effects of algal blooms, visit www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.