Oceanographer and WINGS Fellow Edie Widder is featured in a new PBS documentary about the toxic algae blooms that plague Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. Water pollution is likely to blame, according to scientists, and the blooms affect the environment, economy and local residents’ health.

Widder explains the importance of estuaries: 

People don’t realize what incredibly precious places estuaries are. Because they are the nursery for the ocean. When fish and other organisms want to produce offspring, their offspring have a much better chance of surviving if their offspring can do it in a place where there’s hiding places and lots of food. So we have many organisms that spawn in the Indian River Lagoon that end up in Chesapeake Bay because they’re carried by the Gulfstream up the coast. So this is super, super, precious territory. 

Watch the full documentary below:

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