90 percent of Lake Okeechobee covered with algae

The lake now has 90 percent algae coverage.

Ninety percent of Lake Okeechobee is covered in blue-green algae, something that's a concern for many along the Treasure Coast.

"If the algae bloom gets bigger, there’s more of an opportunity to be released in the discharges," said Mark Perry, the Executive Director with the Florida Oceanographic Society.

He believes the bloom will continue to grow and even though the discharges from Lake Okeechobee temporarily stopped, they're set to start again on Monday.

"If they reopen the locks on July 9 as is planned as of today, it’s gonna be catastrophic," resident Cristina Maldonado said.

Maldonado has lived in Stuart for most of her life and fights for clean water every day not only for herself, but for her family.

"There's just no telling what’s gonna happen because it is way worse than it was two years ago," she said.

Steve Davis, the senior ecologist for the Everglades Foundation, confirmed that he flew over the lake in 2016.

"It wasn’t even half the lake at that point when I flew," he said.

In 2016 the blue-green algae problem received national media coverage as video of algae-choked waterways when viral on the Internet.

Residents along waterways in Martin and St. Lucie Counties are worried of an even more dramatic return this year.

"This is a difficult time," Perry said.

Track algae testing in Florida through an interactive map. Call 855-305-3903 to report an algal bloom, or go online.

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