(ORDO NEWS) — Dead fish, including striped bass, rays and other species, are washed up on the shores of San Francisco Bay after toxic algae spread throughout the area.
Environmental advocacy organization San Francisco Baykeeper said the toxic algae first appeared in July and spread north to San Pablo Bay and south to the coast of San Mateo County.
The culprit behind the muddy brown waters is a species of algae called Heterosigma akashiwo, the organization added.
John Rosenfield, senior scientist at Baykeeper, told Reuters: “This bloom has been going on for over a month and spanning the San Francisco Bay, so the scale and duration of this bloom is unprecedented.”
He blamed the algae bloom on treated sewage containing nitrogen and phosphorus, which is released into the bay by about 40 wastewater treatment centers.
Workers wearing N95 protective suits, gloves and boots dug into the mud on the shores of Lake Merritt this week to collect the rotting carcasses of fish and other wildlife floating in the water or getting stuck in the mud.
Auckland resident Sarah Moss, 27, who frequents Lake Merritt, said: “This is my second home and I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s crazy how many dead fish there are, of all sizes,” Reuters quoted her as saying.
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