Because of reports of greenish brown, dirty-looking water at the beaches around Asbury Park, Avon and Bradley Beach, the state Department of Environmental Protection is looking into the water quality off Shore Area beaches, according to its website.
The Monmouth County Health Department has identified a variety of species of dinoflagellates -- planktonic plants -- in the waters at the those beaches. These microscopic plants are generally not toxic to humans but in very heavy concentrations may be toxic to fish and shellfish because they remove oxygen from the water, according to the DEP.
Additional samples are being collected by the DEP's Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring and at the beaches by the Monmouth County Health Department, according to the DEP.
The DEP performed a flyover of the NJ coastal waters on Thursday, according to its website, but saw no indication of algae bloom.
"There was no visual indication of the recent phytoplankton bloom that has been occurring in southern Monmouth and northern Ocean Counties,'' according to the website.
Larry Hajna, DEP spokesman, on Thursday said there may be scattered reports of discolored water along the coast.
"But we're not hearing anything significant from the counties,'' Hajna said.
For more information about the water quality, please see the DEP's site at: http://www.nj.gov/dep/beaches/.