Legendary underwater filmmaker Glen Lau’s “Bigmouth” is one of the all-time classic bass fishing films. Now, on the heels of the 35th anniversary of its release comes news that the world-famous springs region of Florida where it was filmed is in trouble.

From the story in the Orlando Sentinel:
Ecosystem disasters have been emerging at the biggest of nearly 700 known Florida springs, including Wakulla near Tallahassee; the most iconic, such as the mermaid playground at Weeki Wachee north of Tampa Bay; and even ones as highly protected as the Wekiwa near Orlando. In essence, complex and rich arrangements of aquatic plants, fish and wildlife are being snuffed out by simple but overwhelming forms of algae._

The culprit is an extremely common type of water pollution, soaking deep into the ground from a variety of sources, including septic tanks, sewage plants, agriculture, lawn fertilizer and dirty stormwater. It’s called nitrate, a form of nitrogen and an essential nutrient for plant growth.