Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in counties on the state's Atlantic coast last week over expansive algae blooms in the St. Lucie River.
Scott's executive order in Martin and St. Lucie counties called on state agencies to take actions to address the thick toxic blooms that are ruining the river's ecology, devastating water-related businesses and that could potentially cause health problems for those in contact with the water.
The smelly, disgusting blue-green algae blooms plaguing the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon are the result of discharges flowing out of Lake Okeechobee in southeast Florida.
Since the discharges started Jan. 30, about 150 billion gallons of the lake's water has been sent to the river, dumping nutrients and lowering the salinity of the naturally brackish water. Both spur the growth of blue-green algae.