Photo: Algae bloom turns sea to tomato soup

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On June 20, there was an algae bloom in Puget Sound.

Different from the red tide that contaminates shellfish, this was, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology, harmless plankton called Noctiluca.

For a while, it turned our part of Puget Sound into tomato soup, as seen in this photo by SAN correspondent Valerie Craig.

Soup and Salad at Richmond Beach.  Photo by Valerie Craig.

Marine plankton at the surface of Puget Sound east of Vashon Island.  Photo by Dept of Ecology.

Per the Department of Ecology, "This photo shows large orange strings of harmless marine plankton (likely Noctiluca) drifting at the surface of Puget Sound east of Vashon Island on June 20, 2011. The photo was taken by the Department of Ecology's marine monitoring program from a chartered floatplane at 2,500 feet above Vashon Island looking onto Des Moines. The eastern tip of Vashon Island can be seen to the right. Grey and white regions on the water are the reflections of clouds."


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