–District of Sooke news release
CRD staff took samples and tested water from the Sooke Harbour and Basin on June 28, 2016.
Staff was unable to find any recorded toxicity to humans. The organism most likely responsible for the brightly colored water are ‘coccolithophores’ as they are highly concentrated in the samples taken by staff.
Members of this group are noted to bloom in areas where there is a combination of a period of low wind speeds, stratified water with a shallow top layer that has been exposed to intense sunlight. They are reported to bloom in waters that are both low and high in nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. The characteristic bright green colour imparted to the water during a bloom is not caused by the colour of the organisms themselves but by excess scattering of light which increases reflectance.
Blooms are sometimes so vast and colourful that in some cases they are visible from outer space.