Community Budget Issue Requests - Tracking Id #825FY0001

Human and Animal Health & Effects from Persistent Toxic Algae Blooms in the Harris Chain of Lakes












Gene Molnar, Chairman


Lake County Water Authority











Project Title:

Human and Animal Health & Effects from Persistent Toxic Algae Blooms in the Harris Chain of Lakes

Date Submitted:

2/13/01 12:02:00 PM












Anna Cowin














Statewide Interest:

Water quality & natural systems improvement.













Lake County Water Authority


Michael J. Perry, Executive Director


107 North Lake Avenue

Contact Phone:

(352) 343-3777



Tavares 32178-1429































Service Area:

Government Entity
















Project Description:








Since sampling began on Lake Griffin in 1997, a single species of toxin-producing, blue-green algae has dominated the lake nearly continuously in spite of stable or declining phosphorus levels in lake water.  This algae has also dominated other lakes in the Harris Chain of Lakes.  Dense algal growth prevents light from reaching the lake bottom, resulting in loss of aquatic plants and associated fisheries.  In addition, the blue-green algae can release toxins into the lake water.  These toxins have become potential threat to the human health, or at least perceived to be a threat.  There is limited information regarding the human health effects of these toxins.  Alligators are sensitive indicators of lake health.  As predators at the top of the food chain, they are affected by changes in the food chain caused by lake eutrophication and they accumulate pollutants and blue-green algal toxins that may affect survival and reproduction.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Convervation Commission has performed alligator population surveys on Lake Griffin for the last 20 years.  Over the last several years, mortality of adult alligators has increased dramatically while hatch rates of alligator eggs have declined.  Sick alligators collected from Lake Griffin have decreased nervous function and lesions in the brain or nerves.  This funding will determine if there is a human health concern related to the toxins released and evaluate potential management options for its control.  It will also provide for evaluation of changes in Lake Griffin's alligator population relative to habitat and contaminants.  Scientists will examine alligator mortality, assess egg viability in comparison with other lakes, and provide materials for studies in pathology and of contaminants.  Levels and distribution of contaminants in alligator tissues and eggs will be examined.  Clinical methods will be developed to detect toxins in tissue samples from sick and dead alligators and to assess the effects of these toxins on alligator mortality and egg viability.












Measurable Outcome Anticipated:






Determine if there is a human health concern related to the toxins released and determine potential management options for its control.  Alligator mortality rate; egg viability rate compared to other lakes, contaminant levels and distribution.











Amount requested from the State for this project this year:






















Total cost of the project:
















Request has been made to fund:















Type of funding match:








Total Cash Amount:


Total In-Kind Amount:













Was this project previously funded by the State?














Is future-year funding likely to be requested?













Purpose for future year funding:


YesControl algae to elim human & animal health problems



Will this be an annual request?
















Was this project included in an Agency's Budget Request?




Was this project included in the Governor's Recommended Budget?













Is there a documented need for this project?






Draft reports from SJRWMD and other govt. studies outside of Florida.











Was this project request heard before a publicly noticed meeting of a body of elected officials (municipal, county, or state)?




Hearing Body:

Lake County Water Authority


Meeting Date: