Hundreds of people lined up along Tampa Bay beaches and joined hands on Sunday in a show of support for clean water and healthy wildlife.

The Hands Along the Water group is also calling attention to the toxic algae blooms forming in Lake Okeechobee, much of which is caused by nutrient runoff and other pollutants.

More: Local group takes part in statewide toxic algae protests

The group that rallied at Madeira Beach and Siesta Key on Sunday morning is calling for lawmakers to fund ways to keep waterways clean on Florida's Gulf coast.

The blooms from Lake Okeechobee are different from the deadly red tide blooms we've been talking about for weeks. While red tide blooms are normal, some activists wonder if the toxic mix of nutrients and green algae flowing from Lake Okeechobee are making it worse.

In May, heavy rains caused the lake to discharge water containing blue-green algae into rivers and canals. The bright green sludge oozed onto docks, dams and into rivers.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order last month, declaring states of emergency in several counties to help combat the growing blooms. On Friday, he toured St. Lucie River in Martin County.

He then directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District to take additional steps to reduce harmful water discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

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