Kent Donahue
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ORLANDO, Florida – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is a Health Alert Lake Martha – for the presence of blue-green algae on the NE Shore. This was in response to a site visit and water sample taken by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on 19/01/2023. The public should exercise caution in and around Lake Martha – NE Shore.

The blooms have the potential to produce toxins, and what triggers them to start doing so is not fully understood. It is therefore important to be careful as flowering conditions are dynamic and can change at any time. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) collects algae samples from reported bloom locations for toxin analysis. Once completed, the results will be published in the FDEP. Algal Bloom Dashboard and also viewable at: Protecting Florida Together website where you can register to be informed about the latest conditions.

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Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • You should not drink, swim, walk on water, or use personal watercraft, water skis or boats in water with visible bloom.
  • Avoid getting water in your eyes, nose or mouth
  • You should keep pets and livestock out of the waters at this location.
  • It is safe to eat fillets from healthy fish caught in blooming freshwater lakes. Rinse the fish fillets with tap or bottled water, discard the guts and cook the fish thoroughly.
  • You must not eat shellfish from this place

What is blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae is a type of bacteria common in Florida’s freshwater environments. An efflorescence occurs when the rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of individual cells that produce floating mats that discolor the water and often emit unpleasant odours. Some environmental factors that contribute to the growth of blue-green algae are sunny days, warm water temperatures, stagnant water conditions and excess nutrients. Flowering can appear year-round, but is more common in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.

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Is it harmful?

Blue-green algae blooms can affect human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals. For additional information on the potential health effects of algal blooms, visit

Find up-to-date information Visit Florida’s water quality status and public health statements for harmful algae growth and beach conditions. Protecting Florida Together is the state’s collaborative effort to provide statewide water quality information to prioritize environmental transparency and a commitment to action..

What do I do if I see an algae bloom?

FDEP collects and analyzes algal bloom samples. To report a bloom to the FDEP, call or report the toll-free helpline at 855-305-3903 online.

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With report fish deaths, communicate Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 1-800-636-0511.

report symptoms From exposure to a harmful algal bloom or any water toxin to the Florida Poison Information Center, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a poison specialist right away.

contact your veterinarian If you think your pet has gotten sick after consuming or coming into contact with water contaminated with blue-green algae.

If you have other health questions or concerns about blue-green algae blooms, please call the Florida Department of Health at 407-723-5004 at the Orange County Call Center.

About Florida Department of Health department nationally accredited by The Public Health Accreditation Board works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit:


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