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Algae Causes Hundreds Of Fish Deaths In National Mall Pond

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Hundreds of fish lined the edge of the Constitution Gardens pond on the National Mall.
NBC Washington
Hundreds of fish lined the edge of the Constitution Gardens pond on the National Mall.

The pond is at the top of the park service's list for construction upgrades.The District's Department of the Environment says blue-green algae is to blame for killing nearly one thousand fish in a pond on the National Mall.

Researchers from the DDOE tested the waters at Constitution Gardens pond this morning as a crew from the National Park Service waded in to clean up the thousands of dead fish floating on the pond's surface.

Most of the dead fish are sunfish and bluegill — and while the sight and the smell are both unpleasant — Park Service spokesperson Carol Johnson says fishkills in this pond happen every summer.

"It doesn't have any outflow that flushes it out. It's very shallow — and the algae takes the oxygen and the fish die."

The non-profit Trust for the National Mall has made redesigning Constitution Gardens one of its priorities — in part to improve the pond as a habitat for fish.

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