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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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Private Partnerships Have Positive Impact on Water Quality - There are ways to reduce the runoff that contributes to water quality problems and kills marine life, year after year. Algae blooms can be minimized and maybe even prevented if we scale up existing efforts to improve fertilizer efficiency and soil health – practices that can also save farmers money and boost their yields.


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