State: Just say ‘no’ to going in slimy water

Thriving ocean plants form clouds of green in the waters of the Pacific along the coast of Washington and Vancouver Island. A large bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia, a toxic algae, has spread between Alaska and California in this year's warm ocean waters. A NASA satellite can detect high concentrations of chlorophyll in the Pacific Ocean, as it did in this 2004 photo. Not all of the chlorophyll seen in the right image is from the toxic algae. It is likely that other forms of phytoplankton also color the water, and from this image alone, it is impossible to tell which are toxic algae and which are other plants.

WASHINGTON — Everything’s coming up slimy.

The Washington State Department of Ecology is warning citizens to steer clear of the harmful, sometimes toxic algal blooms that have proliferated during this unusually warm, dry summer.

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