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Case Studies
Water Management Associations
Algae Bloom Warnings are Overblown

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation issued a toxic algae bloom warning for Black Lake, located in the northern part of New York. Blue-green algae blooms produce toxic microcystis, a chemical with potentially deadly consequences for animals and people who ingest it. Water samples taken from bloom areas were 20 times higher than the recreational contact suggested limit, causing the DEC to issue the warning.

Although it may be unlikely a person would drink enough of the harmful algae while swimming to become seriously ill or die, but contact can produce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties. As far as pet are concerned however, keep them out of the water; they will lick themselves after swimming in the water and could die as a result of ingesting the toxin.

The DEC also has warned that fish caught in the bloom areas should not be eaten because they too may contain toxins and that it’s possible that fish throughout the whole lake may be hazardous if the toxins build in the fish population even after the bloom dissipates.
Business owners who rely on tourism feel the negative impact of the warning will greatly affect the revenue in the area and that the risks are overblown.

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