ORLANDO, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has one Health caution for the presence of blue-green algae in Lake Martha – NE Shore. This is in response to a site visit and water sample taken by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on January 19, 2023. The public should exercise caution in and around Lake Martha – NE Shore.
Blooms have the potential to produce toxins, and what drives them to do so remains poorly understood. For this reason it is important to be careful as flowering conditions are dynamic and can change at any time. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) collects algae samples from reported bloom locations for toxin analysis. Upon completion, the results are posted to the FDEP Algal Bloom Dashboard, and can also be viewed on the Protecting Florida together website, where you can register to be kept informed of the latest terms and conditions.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
- You should not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water skis or boats in waters with visible blooms.
- Avoid getting water in your eyes, nose or mouth
- You must keep pets and livestock away from the water at this location
- It is safe to eat fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes that are thriving. Rinse the fish fillets with tap or bottled water, discard the entrails and cook the fish thoroughly.
- You are not allowed to eat shellfish from this location
What are blue-green algae?
Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria commonly found in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when rapid algal growth leads to a buildup of individual cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that give off unpleasant odors. Some environmental factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms are sunny days, warm water temperatures, standing water and excess nutrients. Flowering can appear year-round, but is more common in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.
Is it harmful?
Blue-green algal blooms can impact human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals. For more information on potential health effects of algal blooms, visit floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.
Find current information about Florida’s water quality status and public health reports for harmful algal blooms and beach conditions by visiting ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov. Protecting Florida Together is the state’s collaborative effort to provide statewide water quality information to prioritize environmental transparency and commitment to action.
What should I do if I see an algal bloom?
The FDEP collects and analyzes algal bloom samples. To report a bloom to FDEP, call the toll-free hotline at 855-305-3903 or report online.
Until report fish mortality, contact us the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute at 1-800-636-0511.
Report symptoms from exposure to a harmful algal bloom or other poison in the water to the Florida Poison Information Center, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a poison specialist immediately.
Contact your vet if you think your pet has become ill after consuming or coming into contact with blue-green algae contaminated water.
If you have other health questions or concerns about blue-green algal blooms, call the Florida Department of Health at Orange County Call Center at 407-723-5004.
About the Florida Department of Health The department, nationally recognized by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and further Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.