Lapointe, Herren, and Paule published a new paper in the journal Harmful Algae entitled, "Septic systems contribute to nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms in the St. Lucie Estuary, Southeast Florida, USA"
Highlights of the study include: •N and P enrichment emanate from septic systems in the local watershed.
•Stable N isotopes and sucralose connect septic systems to algal blooms.
•Septic system effluent has been a largely ignored contributor to HABs.
•Data suggested a greater local watershed impact than previously acknowledged.
Fig. 1. Ecosystem responses to eutrophication in the St. Lucie Estuary (SLE) and nearshore reefs: (A, B) Microcystis aeruginosa in the SLE with 40x magnification scale bar in micrometers (μm) and (C) Clionid sponge, (D) Codium intertextum, (E) Dictyota spp., (F) four common species of sea urchins (Diadema antillarum, Tripneustes ventricosus, Echinometra viridis, Eucidaris tribuloides) along the nearshore reefs. Photo credits: (A, B) James Sullivan, (D) Brian Lapointe, (C, E, F) Laura Herren.