Algae at the Port Mayaca lock on Lake Okeechobee in July 2018. / Florida Food & Farm file photo

The state’s Department of Environmental Protection is asking for help in solving — or at least reducing — algae blooms in freshwater bodies such as Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River Estuary.

The Florida DEP’s “Request for Information (RFI)” seeks input from “qualified and interested entities with proven, verifiable and documented expertise regarding scalable methods to prevent, combat or clean up harmful algal blooms in Florida’s freshwater bodies and estuaries.”

The RFI has 34 questions that respondents must answer.

What DEP wants

“The enrichment of water by nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can fuel harmful algal blooms and is one of the leading causes of water quality impairment in Florida. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus in State waterways comes from human and animal waste, and fertilizers. As part of Florida’s systematic and aggressive response to reduce nutrient inputs into these waterbodies and to combat eutrophication and proliferation of harmful algae in particular, the Department is interested in technologies and tools to provide an improved response and greater protection of the environment and public health,” according to the Request for Information” the DEP posted on its website, floridadep.gov.

Suggestions will be accepted through 5 p.m. on July 15.

Any suggestions or materials submitted will become a public record, as per Chapter 119, Florida Statutes.

For more information, download the 11-page Florida DEP .pdf file titled “Request for Information (RFI): Methods to Prevent, Combat or Clean Up Harmful Algae Blooms in Florida’s Freshwater Bodies and Estuaries,” click on https://floridadep.gov/sites/default/files/RFI%20Methods%20to%20Prevent%20Combat%20or%20Cleanup%20Harmful%20Algal%20Blooms%20in%20Florida%27s%20Freshwater%20Bodies%20and%20Estuaries.pdf

To email comments to the Blue-Green Algae Task Force, visit the following site: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5061768/Blue-Green-Algae-Task-Force-Public-Comment-Form