New Cyanobacteria Blooms, Health Officials ask Residents to Keep Children & Pets Away From Area

Filed under: Environment,Health & Wellness,Long Island,News |

Cyto BloomsRecent sampling performed by SUNY Stony Brook has confirmed new cyanobacteria blooms, more commonly known as blue–green algae, in Spring Lake in Middle Island, Setauket Mill Pond in Setauket, Georgica Pond in East Hampton, and Wainscott Pond in Wainscott.

Currently, cyanobacteria blooms exist at the following Suffolk County locations:

  • Spring Lake, Middle Island
  • Setauket Mill Pond, Setauket
  • Wainscott Pond, Wainscott
  • Georgica Pond, East Hampton
  • Mill Pond, Watermill
  • Maratooka Pond, Mattituck
  • Agawam Lake, Southampton

Due to these findings, health officials ask residents not to use or swim or wade in these waters and to keep their pets and children away from the area.  Extra precautions should be taken to avoid direct exposure to waters at Lake Agawam and Mill Pond in Southampton, as levels of cyanobacteria and associated toxins are very high.

Though blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms mostly typically in shades of green but also in shades of blue-green, yellow, brown or red. They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance.

Contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided. If contact does occur, rinse off with clean water immediately.  Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur after contact: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation; or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom that is in a body of water that does not contain a Suffolk County permitted bathing beach, contact the Division of Water at New York State DEC: 518-402-8179 between 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or anytime via email at habsinfo@dec.ny.gov

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom at a body of water that does contain a Suffolk County-permitted bathing beach, contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology at 631-852-5760 between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. or by email at any time at scdhsweb@suffolkcountyny.gov

For a comprehensive list of affected waterbodies in New York State, visit the DEC’s Harmful Algal Bloom Notification Page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310.html

For more information about blue-green algae, visit the Suffolk County website: http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/EnvironmentalQuality/Ecology/MarineWaterQualityMonitoring/HarmfulAlgalBlooms/Cyanobacteria.aspx

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