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Toxic Blue-Green Algae Plague Freshwater
Algal blooms have closed lake beaches or led to swimming advisories from Vermont's Lake Champlain to Dorena Reservoir in Oregon and from Florida’s Caloosahatchee River to Wisconsin's Lake Menomin. In addition to the health risks, the blooms take an economic toll. An estimate by Walter Dodds of Kansas State University conservatively puts the annual cost of freshwater algal blooms at more than $1 billion from lost recreation and depressed property values.

Cyanobacteria occur naturally in lakes, typically at low concentrations that are not harmful and not visible. But when levels of key nutrients – particularly phosphorus – in a water body soar and combine with high temperatures and stagnant water, the organisms thrive. Under these conditions, they outpace growth of other types of algae and streak or coat the water with bright, sometimes iridescent, blooms of green or blue-green cells.

 
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Lack of Saltwater in Laguna Lake Equals Hyacinth Boom - Fishermen struggle to cross a sea of water hyacinths at Laguna de Bay as they approach the Cardona Municipal fish port in the province of Rizal on Friday. A state of calamity has been declared in 14 barangays in Cardona town as at least 8,600 fisherfolk are affected by the plants clogging a portion of the lake, according to municipal officials.


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