JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has issued a notice to navigation interests advising boaters to be aware of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway.
The advisory is part of the district’s increased efforts to educate the public about algal blooms in several ways, including a recent page devoted to the topic on its website that provides access to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) real-time algal bloom dashboard. The district is also posting safety tips from the Florida Department of Health, and working with local health officials to maintain signs at entrances to district walkways, boat ramps, campgrounds, fishing piers, and other structures.
“We believe visitors to our facilities need to keep safety in mind whenever they are on or near the water and we want them to be aware that blooms have been reported in the lake,” said Carol Bernstein, chief of Jacksonville District’s Operations Division. “We want to make sure campers, boaters, hikers, and fishermen are aware of any potential hazards in areas we manage.”
Anyone considering visiting district locations can check the local conditions by visiting https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Algae/. The link to the FDEP dashboard is at the top of the page, and algal notification for Corps of Engineer properties is directly below with a table showing what signage is posted in key district locations.
Please visit these resources for more information on the dangers of algae:
Release no. 19-038