Rare algae bloom turning Hood Canal green

SEABECK, Wash. - A rare bloom of light-colored phytoplankton has turned most of the Hood Canal green.

The Kitsap Sun reports that Washington Sea Grant water quality specialist Teri King says she first noticed the change last week while driving near the canal in Brinnon. The water has changed colors from the bridge to Tahuya.

King says a massive bloom of coccolithophores, microscopic, one-celled organisms that coat themselves in limestone plating, can be thanked for the brilliant colors. King equated the color to that of water surrounding the Cayman Islands, a shade of teal somewhere between line and turquoise.

NASA satellite images show the deepest green hues in and around Dabob Bay and Seabeck.

Officials say the bloom isn't a threat to humans and shellfish can still be harvested.

The canal's last coccolithophore bloom was in 2007.

Copyright 2016 KING


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