Pollution-related algae bloom in Simpson Bay | THE DAILY HERALD

Algae in Simpson Bay Lagoon.

SIMPSON BAY–St. Maarten Nature Foundation has been monitoring an algae bloom in sections of Simpson Bay Lagoon over the past few weeks. Boaters in the area have been complaining to the foundation of algae clogging the intakes of their vessels’ engines and a few isolated fish die-offs due to the presence of the algae.

It was established during two research dives in the lagoon that the probable identities of the algae are Ulveria oxysperma and Ulva Linza. Both species are indicative of an increase in pollution levels and a decrease in water quality of the wider Simpson Bay Lagoon, according to Nature Foundation.

Based on the probable identification of the species, water quality was tested to determine the possible cause of the algal bloom and a correlation to water quality.

“We are a bit concerned that we have seen an increase in algae in the lagoon, which is related to a drop in water quality and an increase in pollution levels. Our preliminary results have shown that indeed there was a drop in water quality with an increase in temperature related to us entering the hottest part of the year,” Nature Foundation manager Tadzio Bervoets said.

“We are also trying to determine whether or not the current algae bloom is related to the effects of the hundreds of boats and other types of infrastructure being sunk or damaged after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This is definitely possible, considering the type of stress the Simpson Bay Lagoon has been undergoing as an ecosystem, and we expected for some time now for the environment in the Lagoon to react to that huge environmental stress. For the time, being we will keep an eye on the situation and hopefully the bloom will dissipate in a few weeks.”

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/79612-pollution-related-algae-bloom-in-simpson-bay