Is the toxic algae moving to Central Florida?

Is the toxic algae moving to Central Florida?

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Eyewitness News spoke to experts Tuesday to find out if the toxic algae spreading across South Florida beaches are moving to Central Florida.

Many South Florida businesses have said their cash flow is suffering.

"I don't really think you can put a price tag on it because the price tag is way greater than monetary if we don't clean it up,” said one boater.

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The algae problem is far from new. It’s millions of years old and is not exclusive to South Florida.

Lake Apopka and some parts of the St. Johns River have had blooms, although not this many.

And that means if people don’t see it, they’ll swim in it, and the quantity of algae matters.

“The chance of you getting enough of the toxin to impact you would be extremely magnified if there was a high density of algae,” said Bill Kurth, with Lake Masters Aquatic Weed Control.

There are only a few types of blue-green algae known to produce toxins, and there's no way to determine visually if a bloom is harmful, experts said.

The bloom is believed to have come from Lake Okeechobee, and right now, there's no link to Central Florida waterways.

"The blue-green algae came from Lake Okeechobee and flows to the coast. It's not like it's growing on the beaches,” Kurth said.

Most of the residential lakes in Florida are treated to prevent algae.

Health officials say activities on shorelines are safe, but people should not eat fish from affected waters.