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Study targets James River algae that can be harmful

As graduate student Joe Wood worked from a boat, the James River teemed with life. Unseen, unwanted life.

The river abounded with microscopic cells of algae, which can foul the water and, in some cases, sicken people and animals with toxins.

The algae outbreak, or bloom, was hard to see. In fact, the James looked lovely on this late August morning, its waters glassy under an overcast sky.

"Up here, you are having algal blooms all the time, whether you see them or not," said Paul Bukaveckas, Ph.D., a Virginia Commonwealth University river ecologist and lead scientist on the project.

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