Toxic algal bloom kills fish around San Francisco Bay

Decaying carcasses of striped bass, bat rays and other fish have washed up on the shores of San Francisco Bay in recent days after a toxic algal bloom spread to the area.

The toxic bloom began in July and extended as far north as San Pablo Bay, about 20 miles (32 km) north of San Francisco, south to the coasts of San Mateo County, the official said. environmental organization San Francisco Baykeeper. He identified the culprit behind the murky brown waters as a species of algae called Heterosigma akashiwo.

“This bloom has been going on for over a month and covers the San Francisco Bay Area, so the extent and duration of this bloom is unprecedented,” Jon Rosenfield, a senior scientist at Baykeeper, told Reuters. He blamed the bloom on treated sewage containing nitrogen and phosphorus discharged into the bay from about 40 sewage treatment plants.

A spokesman for the public works department in the city of Oakland, across the San Francisco Bay, said it was doing what it could to deal with the fish kills and the algae bloom, but could not speculate on the root cause of the phenomenon. On Wednesday, workers donned hazmat suits with N95 masks, gloves and boots and climbed through the mud off the shores of Lake Merritt, braving the pungent stench to pick up carcasses of fish and other wildlife in decomposition floating in water or resting on mud.

“It’s kind of my second home, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said 27-year-old Oakland resident Sara Moss, who is a frequent Lake Merritt visitor. “It’s crazy the number of dead fish, of all sizes too.”

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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