The only truly sustainable solution to deal with algal blooms of this
nature is to stop the nutrient inflow causing the eutrophication.
Where are the minerals that the algae require originating? It could
very well be that the citizens lawns or septic systems are the
culprits (but not necessarily).
Since the alga in question is a freshwater cyanobacteria and is
capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, the primary nutrient
responsible for its incredible bloom capacity is phosphorus. Find how
the phosphorus is entering the waterways and what measures can be
taken to limit or prevent it. This would save all the back-breaking
work, and keep the spring waters clean and enjoyable. Nitrogen should
not be ignored, however, as an abundance of N could lead to blooms of
a different species.
There are innumerable creative solutions to removing the algae, but to
be successful in the long term they all must address the fundamental
issues of nutrient run-off and eutrophication. This problem is not
limited to the springs of Crystal River or even to Florida. Around
the globe, humans systems are creating vast algal blooms and dead
zones through the lack of proper nutrient management.
Imagine if these abundant nutrients and the incredible algal growth
could be redirected for energy production...
now that's creative.
-Scott J Edmundson
On Mar 3, 2009, at 11:19 AM, Jason Evans wrote:
> The story below was forwarded to me from a friend in Crystal River.
> The community is desperately searching for creative, and
> sustainable, solutions to help them deal with the severe algae
> problem affecting Kings Bay. Any good ideas?
> When times are tuff, the tuff get going
> The community is coming together with hard back braking work to
> fight back invasive Lyngbya.
> On Saturday, the last day of February, Leadership Citrus Class of
> 2009 again took up tools in a clean up of Hunter Springs Park in
> Crystal River. The class partnered and worked with over 30 other
> volunteers on the project of cleaning the swimming area and shore
> line of one of the most beautiful public swimming areas in Citrus
> Volunteers raked Lyngbya from over 2,000 sqft. of swimming area for
> a second day. Now more than 5,000 sqft. has been cleaned. Lyngbya
> is a blue-green filamentous algae that has infested the Hunter
> Springs Spring Run for years. Years of mechanical weed harvesting
> by the county has not been able to control the Lyngbya. Lyngbya
> destroys water quality and habitat for fish, manatees and people.
> Saturday, people took matters into their own hands, with metal leaf
> rakes an sit-on-top kayaks they waded into the water to take back
> the Bay. Load after load of lyngbya was piled high onto the
> floating barges, then brought to shore. People muscled the Lyngbya
> over the seawalls and dumped it onto waiting tarps.
> Other volunteers worked on shore to clean the grounds of cig. butts
> and litter, power washing the pavilion, exercise equipment and
> picnic tables. All hard time consuming work. They will be ready to
> start painting next week, weather permitting.
> Later as the Lyngbya piled up, volunteers filled wheel barrows and
> filled waiting trailers to take the Lyngbya away to be rota-tilled
> right away into garden soil. Once removed from the water it can act
> like an enriched Peat-Moss to help condition the soil. Two huge
> trailer loads of Lyngbya were removed from the swimming area.
> The water is starting to turn blue again and you can see the old
> white sand bottom in places now. As the volunteers packed up their
> tools at the end of a long day, children swam and played in the nice
> clear blue freshly cleaned water, laughing with joy and shouting
> thanks to some of the adult volunteers.
> There is still more to do so, the next work day is Saturday, early
> at 7am to 11am to catch the low tide at 8:31 that day. All future
> work days will be half days around low tides. For more info, Art
> Jones 727-642-7659 or just show up and register at the volunteer
> Jason M. Evans, Ph.D.
> Postdoctoral Researcher
> Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
> University of Florida
> Newin-Ziegler 319
> (352) 846-0148 - office
> (352) 328-1199 - cell