Microalgae off the coast of Newport Beach is raising concerns of a red tied off the Orange County coast.

In particular, this form of algae puts birds at risk of hypothermia by preventing them from being able to dry off properly, experts say.

“We have seen episodes in California with this particular group of phytoplankton where lots of birds died and basically froze to death, and we don’t want that. We want the people who ware working with birds to be on the alert when something like this is in the water,” said Clarissa Anderson, executive director of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System.

While another animal, sea lions, have been dying off the O.C. coast in recent weeks, this algae bloom is believed to be unrelated to the the mammals’ deaths.

Chip Yost reports for the KTLA 5 News on April 27, 2022.