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City says reddish color off island shorelines are algae blooms

Algae blooms appear reddish-orange in the water. - Courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology
Algae blooms appear reddish-orange in the water.
— image credit: Courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology

Algae blooms caused by warm weather have prompted some residents to call the city with concerns about possible water pollution.

Tests have indicated that recent blooms reported around the island were caused by noctiluca plankton, which is harmless to humans and marine life.

Noctiluca blooms have a red, rusty color, and are a common summer occurrence in Puget Sound.

The city reports that algae blooms can look like spilled paint, oil or sewage. Citizens may report any suspected spill concerns to the State Department of Ecology by calling (800) OILS-911, as well as to Kitsap County at (360) 337-5777 during business hours, or 911 in case of emergency or after hours.

Algae blooms are monitored by the State Department of Ecology water quality program. For more information and photos of plankton blooms, see the Department of Ecology website. 

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