Rust Algae Reports in Buzzards Bay

SouthCoastToday: The appearance of rust-colored algae blooms in the northeastern part of Buzzards Bay has concerned environmental activists, who say the blooms are a symptom of nitrogen pollution.

Nitrogen pollution has long been a worry of the Buzzards Bay Coalition because too much of the natural element can cause algae blooms. The algae suck oxygen needed by shellfish out of the water and block sunlight from reaching eelgrass, impairing the entire habitat.

Excess nitrogen in the bay usually creates blooms of green algae and phytoplankton, but for the past 7 years the coalition has noticed a new, rust-colored algae appearing in parts of the bay from Fairhaven to Falmouth.

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