Once thought defeated by late-20th century cleanups, recurring algae blooms have returned to our state’s estuaries with a vengeance.
Northeastern North Carolina’s Chowan River estuary is a severe case in point. There, large blue-green algae blooms have become not only more extensive, but possibly a more toxic threat to humans as well.
Researchers looking for answers to “why is this happening now” theorize it may be linked to a combination of factors. Our warming climate is one. More nutrient-polluted runoff is another, as more wetlands and vegetated areas along waterways are filled or cleared.