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  • Harmful Algae Blooms

What are Harmful Algae Blooms?

Harmful Algal Blooms, or HABs, are unsightly and dangerous events that occur in nutrient-rich waters. HABs are made of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria produce a variety of toxins, many of which are deadly. For example, dogs that have been in the water and then lick the cyanobacteria off their coats have been known to die within 15 minutes. HABs cause beach closures, fish kills, animal deaths, and drinking water system shutdowns and are therefore a significant public health concern.

Leading Causes of Harmful Algae Blooms

The main cause of HABs is Eutrophication. Eutrophication is a process in which high amounts of organic mucky sediment and nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen) come from both human sources such as fertilizers or natural sources like decaying plants. As the ratio gets excessively high between these two things, dissolved oxygen becomes depleted due to decay rates increasing exponentially with higher ratios. When water has too much algae or weeds are growing because they can grow thanks to the lack of competition for space amongst other organisms quickly; it creates an ideal environment for HABs to form while also stripping fish habitats away one by one until nothing else remains but empty stagnant waters filled only with dead plant life if any remain at all!

What is Cyanobacteria, and isn't some Algae good?

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can exploit several factors that make them the most competitive species in freshwater environments. These factors include their ability to bind tightly with available nutrients and outcompete good algae needed for food webs. This process has been going on over time until cyanobacterial dominance became commonplace.

Certain factors, such as increasingly warmer weather and water temperatures, deoxygenation of the water column, and stratification of the water column can cause oxygenated water near the surface to become stagnant and not mix with nutrients at the bottom sediment of the waterbody. Unlike other good algae, cyanobacteria can bind with these bottom nutrients and take them back up to the surface for photosynthesis.
Red Tide HABs

What Does Environmental Waterway Restoration do to Prevent HABs

HABs are becoming more and more common because people have been paying for treatment programs that give short-term cosmetic relief but eventually end up with harmful, recurring HAB's. These treatments allow nutrients to settle at the bottom of this water column, where cyanobacteria can utilize them as food sources. So to combat these Harmful Algae Blooms, we need a comprehensive, holistic approach, including addressing conditions favorable towards cyanobacteria at their source.
In effect, you must create the ecological conditions for a healthy lake in which beneficial algae, microorganisms, and fish thrive, and cyanobacteria cannot. This is what EWR systems and treatment programs do. By Oxygenating the entire water column from top to bottom, digesting the mucky sediment nutrient stockpile, and disrupting the ability of cyanobacteria to control their buoyancy to dive to the bottom to access sediment nutrients. EWR has delivered solutions to eutrophication, invasive weeds, excessive algae, and toxic HABs for over 25 years.
Pond Aeration - EWRFlorida
Environmental Waterway Restoration
EWR is a family-owned Florida based company that has been providing quality solutions for water environments since they were founded.

EWR is a family-owned Florida based company that has been providing quality solutions for water environments since they were founded.
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