Blue-Green Algae Plague Increasing Across the World
Recent hot weather has assisted the growth of green-blue algal blooms in Finnish maritime and inland waters. The Green-blue algae are now more common than usual at this point in the summer.
The Environmental Administration says that algae on Finland’s south coast has thickened and in places clustered on the surface. Widespread algal rafts have not, however, been detected. Algae has been most abundant in marinas and sheltered bays.
Algae have been detected in moderate or abundant amounts in the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea. Although some of the algae are non-toxic, some is the toxic Nodularia blur-green algae, which swimmers should avoid.
The water temperature in the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea has risen to twenty degrees Celsius, helping the growth of the algae.
More algae than usual in lakes
Blue-green algae have also been spotted in 260 inland lakes. Abundant algae were found in ten locations, and especially abundant algae were found in four. Altogether algae were found at 70 different observation points.
This is more than usual for this stage of the summer. The average water temperature at the observation points was between two and five degrees higher than usual. – YLE.fi
Livestock producers beware: Watch for toxic blue-green algae
Among the problems arising from this summer’s extended heat wave is the potential for toxic blue-green algae to show up in lakes and ponds.
“Blue-green algae is typically only a problem during the hottest part of the summer,” said Kansas State University veterinarian Larry Hollis. “It appears that we are seeing an increase in cases this year because f the extended heat period and/or lack of additional rain.”
As in much of the country, July temperatures in Kansas have soared near or above 100 degrees for numerous consecutive days.
The algae are toxic to humans, as well as animals. Livestock species often serve as sentinels for human illness, said Hollis, who specializes in beef cattle care with K-State Research and Extension. – Drovers Cattle Network
Significant, continuing bloom of blue-green algae on the east side of Missisquoi Bay
Concentrations of blue-green algae have dropped below alert levels in St. Albans and Burlington bays, but lake users are advised to be alert to a significant, continuing bloom on the east side of Missisquoi Bay, scientists reported Thursday.Aside from the Missisquoi bloom, “All other areas of the lake are generally safe,” according to the report of water test results at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein Laboratory.
The information updated last week’s report, which had found concentrations of the potentially toxic algae along the Burlington waterfront and the St. Albans Bay boat launch. – Burlington Free Press
Bay City water tainted by blue-green algae
A larger than usual bloom of blue-green algae in Saginaw Bay is causing an unpleasant flavor in Bay City’s municipal water and adding to pressure to find a new source for water.
According to the Bay City Times most of Bay County gets water from the Bay City system, which draws from an intake near the mouth of the Saginaw River.
Blue-green algae is nothing new to the Saginaw Bay, but extremely high temperatures recently have brought more of the bacteria than normal. While treating the drinking water removes the algae, it releases a compound, when broken down, that leaves that dirty taste in the water.
Levengood said plant workers have put an oxidizer into the water treatment and amped up the amount of ozone — an oxidant known to treat the algae compound.
“It’s not going to hurt you, but it’s not something we want to taste in the water,” Levengood said of the algae. – The Michigan Messenger
Slimy algae spreads in Kansas
Ponds and lakes around Kansas right now look more like hideouts a lagoon monster might crawl out of than peaceful fishing grounds.
That’s because a dense, rapidly reproducing, foam-like slime known as blue-green algae is spreading like wildfire.
Bountiful sunshine, unyielding heat, low water flow and no wind have created the perfect recipe for brewing the algae.
“Algae thrive in high light and warm water situations with a good source of nutrients,” said Tom Langer, director of the Bureau of Environmental Health with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “We have seen a unique set of factors this year combine to make perfect conditions for algae blooms.”
Langer said the department has seen a significant increase in the number of health complaints from people after visiting lakes. Symptoms can range from a sore throat or cough to itchy skin and vomiting. No serious illnesses have been reported, Langer said. – The Kansas City Star
With popular beaches closed, cooling off will be challege
With more hot weather coming to Sudbury and most of Ramsey Lake’s beaches closed due to a possible blue green algal outbreak, residents may soon be feeling the heat, but with fewer places to cool off.
Al McDougall, an environmental support officer with the Sudbury & District Health Unit, said he’s aware that “it’s not good news, for sure.”
According to the Weather Network website, temperatures in Sudbury (including the humidex) will reach 32C tomorrow, 31C on Saturday and 29C on Sunday before cooling off to begin next week in the mid-twenties.
However, McDougall said there are alternatives to cooling off if the beaches at Bell Park aren’t an option. – The Sudbury Star
Algae slick floats toward China’s coast
Warning over algae level rise at Llysyfran Reservoir
Levels of a potentially toxic blue-green algae found in a reservoir near Haverfordwest have prompted a safety warning from officials.
Pembrokeshire Council and Public Health Wales have asked Llysyfran reservoir owners, Welsh Water, to temporarily restrict activities such as swimming.
The council said the Environment Agency had carried out tests and would continue to monitor the situation.
The build up of algae is a natural occurrence during warm conditions.
The council said the blue-green algae produced toxins which could cause skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, fever and headaches if swallowed. – BBC News
Heat, algae hurting businesses
Sweltering temperatures and alerts about blue-green algae have led to fewer campers than usual visiting Marion County Park and Lake and Marion Reservoir in July, resulting in slow business for people who cater to campers.
Marion County Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson said that revenue during the past two weeks is down 41 percent compared to the same time in 2010.
Jeannie Vinduska said her business, D&J Liquor, has seen some affects from having fewer visitors to the lake.
“We see less people from the lake because they’re just not there,” she said.
Canada Bait ’N Tackle has been especially hard-hit by conditions, co-owner Donna Kreutziger said.
“I’m about half (in sales) of what I was last year,” she said.
That causes extra problems, because she is trying to sell the shop.
“It’s really hot, so if you can’t get in the water, why do you want to come to the lake?” Kreutziger asked.
She said information about the blue-green algae advisory at the reservoir and warning at the county lake needs to be clearer. The reservoir remains safe for swimming and skiing as rangers monitor the situation.
The county lake is closed to water-contact activities, but fishing and boating are safe at both the county lake and reservoir. As of Thursday, the warning at the county lake and advisory at the reservoir remained in place, a press release from Kansas Department of Health and Environment said. – Hillsboro Star Journal
Blue-green Algae Blooms to Surface
With higher temperatures comes higher health riska in the water. Dangerous blue-green algae blooms peak in the summer heat.
Green plant-like color of algae Wausau signifies it’s safe. Blue-green algae looks more like a layer of paint and shouldn’t be swam in by people or animals.
Depending on the type it can cause rashes, fever, nausea, and even heart attacks. Experts say unfortunately it isn’t easy to clear.
“On a small scale there isn’t really any way to mitigate it,” said DNR Basin Supervisor Scott Watson. “Even if you would disturb it by trying to push it off somewhere else or just skim maybe a surface off around your dock it’s still also suspended in the water column. You don’t necessarily see it forming on the top but it’s there.” – WSAW.com
Blue-Green Algae On The Rise