GAINESVILLE, FLA. -- Boaters, anglers and swimmers heading to the Santa Fe River near Gainesville for the Memorial Day weekend are being advised by health authorities not to swim or fish in the river.
Drinking the water is also on the forbidden list.
According to officials, pollution from sewage, manure and fertilizer has sparked an algae bloom -- an outbreak of nasty green slime.
Last weekend, boaters said they witnessed water that looked like thick, fluorescent green pea soup near Poe Springs, an Alachua County park.
Locals said they've never seen algae as bad as this sliming the river.
Representatives of environmental organizations say this is what we can expect to see when most clean water rules are tossed out and when the remaining rules have no teeth to speak of.
Florida Wildlife Federation president Manly Fuller said they hope this isn't the face of things to come all summer in Florida, "but we fear it is."
He added that this was not an isolated episode.
"We have green slime in Southwest Florida, too, right now, on the Caloosahatchee River near the popular tourist beaches at Sanibel Island and Fort Myers," he said.
A drinking water plant on the Caloosahatchee, a plant which serves 30,000 people, has been shut down due to the pollution.
Lee County's health department had to issue a warning for people not to have contact with natural waters in the county.
The warning includes keeping pets and livestock away, as well.