Documentary reveals potential solution to toxic algae exposure

Every rainy season in Florida brings the threat of toxic slime in our waterways. At its worst earlier this year, Lake Okeechobee was covered in 400+ square miles of harmful blue-green algae blooms. Thankfully, Floridians have been largely spared in 2023 from large blooms entering the waterways to the east and the west of the lake, but the threat of damaging discharges isn’t over yet.

Those of us living near the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and their canals, Lake O, and other waters previously tainted with algae know all too well the environmental and economic harm these discharges can bring. Green water clumped like guacamole, with dead fish at the surface. Marine industries struggle to survive and humans suffer from respiratory illness. 

A compelling documentary, Toxic Puzzle: Hunt for the Hidden Killer, has just become available to stream for free. The film, narrated by Harrison Ford, focuses on the research of Brain Chemistry Labs scientists Paul Alan Cox and Sandra Banack as they explore the long-term health impacts of the neurotoxins in cyanobacteria. The documentary takes viewers around the world, including to Stuart, Florida, on a hunt for a solution to the devastating ailments thought to be caused by the toxins: ALS and Alzheimer’s. ALS, a slow but devastating disease, is on the rise in many countries, and that could be because of BMAA, produced by cyanobacteria.

Watch Toxic Puzzle

P.S. – The public-health threat posed by cyanobacteria in Florida is preventable, and Friends of the Everglades has been working hard to end algae-coated waterways in our region through Sugar Reform in the 2023 U.S. Farm Bill. Join our chorus of supporters in this fight by signing our Sugar Reform Now petition