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Harmful 'Algae' Blooms Grow In Size And Frequency

An algae bloom in 2018--the green ripples--on Florida's Lake Okeechobee.

Maybe you're not familiar with the word "microcystin," but there's a good chance you recognize the term "harmful algae bloom," an increasingly frequent event in bodies of water.  Many of the more toxic outbreaks are actually bacteria that release microcystin, and they are showing up with increasing frequency around the country. 

Salem, Oregon's capital city, had an outbreak last year in its water supply, and had to warn some water users not to drink from the tap.  The city will spend millions of dollars to protect its water from microcystin and other toxins, and it won't be alone. 

The Environmental Working Group tracks how widespread the microcystin outbreaks are in a recent report.  EWG's Soren Rundquist and Anne Weir Schechinger visit with details.  

Links: Oregon's Harmful Algae Bloom warnings.

California's Harmful Algae Bloom portal.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.