A bird’s eye view of a crisis unfolding

More than a 1000 feet in the air, a bright green pocket of blue-green algae is clearly visible inside the Port Mayaca Lock.

It may not look like much, but it’s enough to trigger PTSD for residents across Florida who’ve seen these views before. With many months of the rainy season still ahead, the familiar Florida algae crisis has already emerged with a vengeance — carpeting a Pahokee marina in a headline-grabbing outbreak, choking canals on the west coast, and even threatening water supply in Palm Beach County.

It’s not all bad. Watch the rest of this video and you’ll see some breathtaking views from a perspective usually reserved for the birds as pilot Howard Greenberg hugs Lake Okeechobee’s southern shoreline from east to west. But watch closely, and you’ll catch glimpses throughout of green patches and streaks — a disaster unfolding in the water below.

With help from our partners at LightHawk, we’re going to keep an eye on this. Watch the latest flight in full by clicking the image above. And use the button below to follow us on YouTube where we’ll host biweekly flights documenting the discharges from above.