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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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Rise in Boat Sales Could Suggest a New Quagga Mussel Infestation - Quagga mussels can be spread by watercraft, and recent boat sales data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association shows that sales are robust. More vessels are filling state lakes, rivers, reservoirs and waterways; the increased vessels suggest a new quagga mussel infestation may be in the future.


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