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Holmes Beach explores algae remediation

Holmes Beach usually takes a passive approach on the algae blooms that sometimes clog its waterways.

But that might end this year.

Holmes Beach Clean Water Committee Chair Ron Huibers urged city commissioners May 10 to take a more active approach while presenting the advisory board’s recommendations for remediating algae blooms.

The CWC created the recommendations in response to a recent bloom of Lyngbya wollei, also known as “brown gumbo” algae, which produces mats that float and produce a rotten odor.

The board’s first recommendation is for the city to hire a contractor to procure a skimmer vessel to collect and dispose of algal mats, since removal would reduce the nitrogen load and odor.

Huibers said he’d contacted several contractors who would perform the work for thousands of dollars a week or the city could purchase a skimmer vessel, which he estimated could cost about $90,000 and $15,000 to operate annually.