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PHOTOS: Green algae is blooming in Puget Sound off the shores of Burien

Courtesy Elston Hill comes these photos – taken on Monday, July 17 – that show green algae blooms on the surface of Puget Sound off the shores of Burien.

“Tides and wind bring it in and out past Burien,” Elston said.

Far as we know, this current bloom is not considered dangerous. According to the State Department of Ecology [1]:

Spring and summer are the time of year when sunshine and warm temperatures aren’t just making our lawns and garden plants grow, but are also contributing to algae blooms in our marine waters. An algae bloom is the visible appearance of millions of tiny plant-like organisms in the water. These tiny algae, or phytoplankton are present all year. The recipe for blooms is abundant sunlight, nutrients and the right water conditions.

Most blooms are harmless, but some types of blooms can produce toxins that can make people sick if they are exposed to high enough levels of the toxins. Exposure can come from inhaling or swallowing water with toxins or from eating contaminated shellfish (that fed on the toxic phytoplankton).

Click images to see larger versions/slideshow:

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