Algae bloom off Jersey coast has drifted away

It’s gone now, and officials say an algae bloom off the Jersey shore did not pose a health threat.

The brown-colored algae was spotted Wednesday off the coast of Ocean and Monmouth counties.

It formed when an east wind stirred the ocean water and brought nutrients to the surface that algae like to eat, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

“It’s the kind of algae growth that would occur in a healthy ocean,” said Larry Ragonese, DEP spokesman. “It’s a mild bloom of algae, no toxic species, not a danger to humans, no health concerns to swimmers.”

Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson was concerned about the algae until he heard that official determination.

“Our beachfront in Asbury Park and along the Jersey shore is an economic engine not just for our towns and our county but for the state,” he said Thursday. “In terms of safety for everyone, we certainly have to take each threat that comes along seriously.”

Unlike last August when an earthquake and a hurricane occurred in the same week, Johnson says the crowds are on the beach this year, and it’s been a good summer season for shore towns.

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