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Harmful Algae Blooms Keep Water Sports on Hold at Lakes in NJ, NY and PA
Harmful algae blooms have become a growing threat to swimmers in recent years. Last year, there were 20 confirmed blooms in New Jersey and 22 in 2017.

Lakes in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are beginning to deal with harmful algae blooms due to the heavy rainfall followed by high temperatures. The heavy rain washed phosphorus into the waters, providing an abundance of food for the algae to feed on.

Exposure to the toxins that the cyanobacteria create can cause a range of health effects, including rashes, allergy-like reactions, flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis, respiratory irritation, skin rashes and eye irritation.

In addition to algae blooms, the excess nutrients in the lakes spurs growth of invasive weeds such as milfoil, coontail and water chestnut, which choke some lakes, hamper recreational activity, and therefore threaten property values. The weeds twist around boat propellers and the legs of swimmers.

 
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Mississippi River water hyacinth, water lettuce and parrot feather, oh my! - In recent years, three invasive species of aquatic plants have been found in Pool 5 of the Mississippi River near Buffalo City, WI. These three species – water hyacinth, water lettuce, and parrot feather– are plants often found in the water garden and aquaculture trade.


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