High levels of nitrogen produce toxic algal blooms, which are harmful if ingested by animals or humans. Algae are a main source of nutrients among many marine mammals, and consequently, has been discovered to alter the way of life for certain species who depend on it for survival. Environmental researcher, Houtan (2014), speaks of a newly found disease, Fibropapillomatosis, found in green sea turtles off the coasts of Hawai’i. This disease is primarily known to cause tumors to form around the turtles’ eyes, flippers, and organs as well as being the leading cause of death in the endangered species. Scientists at Duke University, the University of Hawai’i, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that the prevalence of the disease is associated with heavily polluted coastal areas, areas of high human density, agricultural runoff, and/or bio toxin-producing algae.
Scientists such as Ross (2012) also have linked excessive nitrogen and decrease in phosphate in the water to affect coral reefs ability to survive with rising water temperatures, making them vulnerable to harmful bleaching. How this happens is that the algae becomes over fertilized by the nitrogen, It does this by over-fertilizing the symbiotic algae on which corals depend, making them grow more quickly than the more limited supply of phosphorus can support Ross (2012). This unbalanced growth makes the corals more susceptible to stress and