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For about the past decade, Lake Okeechobee has seen increasingly worsening algal blooms of cyanobacteria at the peak of summer. Cyanobacteria, in this case, is a blue-green algae that in high enough concentrations can black out areas of water of light, causing die off of plant life while also creating low oxygen environments that can suffocate wildlife. In June of 2018, the bloom expanded to cover 90% of the surface of the lake. These events are believed to occur because of the amounts of waste, pesticides, and fertilizers that are runoff from the agricultural sites and homes that feed into an surround the lake. Because of large amounts of rainfall, much of this water was let to flow into canals and waterways on the east and west coasts of florida. This high nutrient water containing the cyanobacteria spread the blooms into these waterways, causing die offs of fish as well as manatees and other aquatic animals. This algae, unable to live in saltwater, dies off once the water travels closer to the ocean, creating extremely nutrient dense water that can cause detriment to coastal marine communities. A secondary algae, known as “red tide”, can occur naturally along the coastlines in Florida, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. The year of 2018 has seen an especially detrimental red tide outbreak that has lead to mass die off of some areas, marked as hypoxic and toxic “dead zones”. The Atlantic coast, which since 1950 only 8 red tides have occurred, began reporting these blooms along beaches in broward and miami-dade county early September, which since have begun to spread northward, leading to the closing of many areas of beach completely off to the public.

Florida Atlantic University is currently monitoring and actively researching this event in order to identify causes of these blooms as well as possible solutions to prevent further events from occurring. 10% of every purchase of the Slimed hoodie will go directly towards this organization.

The back reads:

Let it come calmly
Let it bloom through every path, every stream, every wave
A sweet release
A sugar coated means to an end,
One last choke out

Printed on 12oz standard fit poly-cotton hoodie.