Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What in the World is Blue-Green Algae?


We’ve all seen the news. Beaches closed during the nicest days because of blue-green algae.

So WHAT is it?
 
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation says that blue-green algae is found in freshwater lakes and ponds and can be harmful under certain conditions. A water sample is usually necessary to determine if there is a level of harmful toxins in the blooms. It can be toxic to humans, pets, fish, and other organisms. These nerve, liver, and skin toxins can sicken people, pets, or livestock if consumed or ingested in large quantities. They can also cause rashes or other allergic reactions. 
 
What causes Harmful Blooms?
Blooms may be triggered by a combination of water and environmental conditions, including:
·        excess nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen)
·        sunlight
·        low-water or low-flow conditions
·        calm water
·        warmer temperatures
·        upwellings

You and your pets should stay away if you ever see an announcement about Blue-Green Algae in a lake or pond that you visit often, until you hear that it’s safe.

(For more information, visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html)