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Algal Bloom Turns Stretch of Pamlico River Bright Green & Kills Fish; Public Urged to Avoid

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Sound Rivers
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A large stretch of the Pamlico River along Beaufort County has turned florescent green after an algal bloom has spread throughout the water over the last few weeks. The bloom stretches from Hickory Point to Blount’s Bay. Sound Rivers’ executive director Heather Deck says that algal blooms aren’t uncommon, but this one is significant. 

“In this instance, when you have such an extensive bloom, where you have so much algal biomass in an area, it will turn the river green which is not a very common phenomenon. It’s pretty rare on the Pamlico.” 

Deck says the bloom has caused a fish kill near Blount’s Bay that involves many species of fish, both juvenile and adult. She says these blooms are caused by heat and nutrient pollution from multiple sources, including stormwater and farm runoff. They can deplete the oxygen in waterways, which harms fish. The state is testing samples from the water to see how dangerous the algae is. Deck says the bloom could be dangerous to people and pets, and that individuals should stay away from discolored water and areas where there are dead fish.