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Water Management Associations
Waterfowl Fly Clear of Algae Blooms
Algae growth on part of Lake Smith on Virginia Beach has taken over part of the lake turning the water into a vat of green ooze.

Homeowners agree that it has been a particularly bad year for algae blooms. A warm winter and early hot summer days have turned shallow lakes with little water flow into incubators for the algae. The algae started in the southern tip of the lake in spring, but now its spreading north at half an acre per day.   One homeowner said, “I’ve never seen anything like this, no ducks, geese or egrets live here anymore.” Added a neighbor, “They don’t like this, either.”

Lake Smith uses an aquatic weed harvester to cut collect the algae and other aquatic vegetation rather than using chemicals because some of the lakes serve as water reserves for the City of Norfolk. It has been a very busy summer for the weed harvester, but Charles Hassen, development services coordinator for Virginia Beach, said residents can help by avoiding using fertilizers that contain phosphorus as well as picking up pet waste.

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Education is Key to Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species - Through programs such as their Youth Conservation Corps and collaborative workshops with other area organizations, the Acton-Wakefield Watershed Alliance keeps finding ways to get local residents involved and interested in keeping their water free of contaminants and invasive plant species.

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