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What Causes Foam in the Indian River Lagoon?

Indian River Lagoon Pollution 

In some Brevard County locations where we grabbed water samples during Tropical Storm Eta, there was foam build-up along the shoreline. This can result from plants decomposing, too much phosphorus in the water, temperature rises, soil erosion events, and human activities.
If entities release material (such as fire fighting foam) to a water body in large quantities, it can cause foaming. PFAS foam rests on the water's surface and can be identified as sticky, bright white, usually lightweight, and tends to pile up like shaving cream. Foam can have much higher concentrations of PFAS than the waterbody it is found in.
• Foam from human activity usually appears white, gives off a fragrant (perfumed or soapy odor), and usually occurs over a small area, localized near the discharge source.
• Natural foam usually appears as light tan or brown, smells earthy (fishy or has fresh cut grass odor), can occur over large areas and accumulate in large amounts, and dissipates fairly quickly, except when agitated (as in high wind and rain conditions).
Foam can be a risk to your health if it contains harmful bacteria or PFAS. It is not recommended that you swallow the foamy water or allow your pets to come into contact with it.
Thankfully, we will know more as we continue collecting samples for the UF project to understand how flooding caused by hurricanes influences the distribution of PFAS in the environment. To learn more about that project, visit

PFAS Foam in Michigan:,9038,7-365-86514---,00.html

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