By Rich Pollack

A state health alert for the waters near Bel Lido Drive remains in effect after a harmful blue-green algae bloom was discovered in Highland Beach two weeks ago.

An Oct. 6 visual inspection of the sampling area just south of the bridge from State Road A1A into the Bel Lido Isle community found no visible signs of the low-level algae bloom first identified on Sept. 23, a representative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said.

Still, the agency is urging the public to remain cautious when around nearby waters until samples confirm no toxins are present. Those results are expected to be available early next week.

Department of Environmental Protection investigators have not yet determined the source of the blue-green algae bloom. But the department points out that increases in the delivery of nutrients to any particular water body can promote algae growth that can lead to the formation of a bloom. Warm water and changes in water flow can also contribute.

Health department officials urge residents to stay out of water where the algae bloom was reported and to also keep pets away from the area.

For more information, the state DEP encourages members of the community to visit its Algal Bloom Dashboard for updates on blue-green algae sampling events from around the state and information on how to report an algae bloom. The agency’s Protecting Florida Together website also gives community members a chance to receive daily updates on blue-green algae.

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