Algae linked to fish kill seeps into Biscayne Bay, decreasing oxygen levels, experts say

NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - The green algae that had been covering parts of Biscayne Bay earlier this week has now seeped into the water, creating a bigger problem than before, according to the local nonprofit Miami Waterkeeper.

7SkyForce on Friday captured massive amounts of the algae initially seen floating in the bay.

“What we’re seeing is a cycle of decline and death in the bay that keeps getting worse and worse,” said Dr. Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Miami Waterkeeper.

Video sent in by 7News viewers shows the slimy substance hovering over canals and surrounding small boats.

“This is totally horrific,” said a woman in the video.

Speaking with 7News on Saturday, Silverstein explained why the situation is becoming more alarming.

“The algae starts to die, and it sinks down into the water, and that can create low oxygen conditions like those that caused the fish kill,” she said.

A map puts the dire situation into perspective, with green dots marking the algae bloom and red dots marking the fish kill.

Experts said this algae bloom is a direct result of the tens of thousands of fish found dead in the bay recently following that fish kill.

Experts added, if more isn’t done to protect the bay, this vicious cycle will only continue.

“As they start to decompose, then they release even more nutrients and bacteria that creates another algae bloom like the one that we’re seeing now,” said Silverstein. “When that algae dies, it starts to decompose, and then it uses up all the oxygen, and then we have another fish kill, and then there’s a cycle that perpetuates, and it’s really Biscayne Bay circling the drain, so to speak.”

Miami Waterkeeper is looking for the public’s input to find out where the bloom is happening in Biscayne Bay.

To help report any algae in the bay, contact Miami WaterKeeper at hello@miamiwaterkeeper.org.

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