Seeing red? Phytoplankton blooms not dangerous, DMR says

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Marine Resources has been monitoring several red and brown phytoplankton blooms over the past week ranging from Wells to Penobscot Bay. 

These blooms can be extensive, sometimes spanning several miles. The brown blooms have been a combination of common phytoplankton while the red blooms have been composed primarily of protozoans and common phytoplankton. 

These are not harmful algal blooms or red tide. Visible blooms are not uncommon in the summer and the department will continue to monitor blooms as they develop to ensure they do not pose a risk to human health and to initiate closures as needed. 

For notices of biotoxin or bacterial shellfish closures, visit the Shellfish Sanitation & Management page on the DMR website, 

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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