Massive Algal Bloom Leads to Record Fish Kill
As an Indian River Lagoon report card was being prepared in a collaboration between the Marine Resource Council and IAN, a brown algal bloom led to huge numbers of dead fish and other aquatic life. This Florida ecosystem of a chain of coastal rivers and lagoons has been struggling for years under a heavy pollution load entering its waters. In March 2016, a particular sequence of events — on-going excess nutrient input, warm winter temperatures, and heavy spring rainfall with strong winds that resuspended nutrients stored in the bottom — launched a brown tide bloom and a resulting hypoxic condition that caused the kill. Even with this preliminary understanding, scientists, resource managers, and concerned citizens continue to look for clarification as to what happened and how to prevent such an event from happening in the future.