Navigation Links
Toxic Algae: Coming Soon to a Lake Near You? New Online Map & Report from NWF Show National Reach of Freshwater Toxic Algae Scourge

Ann Arbor, Michigan (PRWEB) September 26, 2013

Summer should be a time for fishing, boating and swimming with family on our nation’s lakes. Yet instead of fresh clear waters, many people are encountering mats of thick blue-green harmful algal blooms (HABs) – aka toxic algae.

A new, first-of-its-kind national online map by the communications firm Resource Media shows that 21 states across the US have issued health advisories and warnings related to harmful algal blooms at 147 different locations on lakes, rivers and ponds this summer.

In partnership with the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center, Resource Media is also releasing a report, “Toxic Algae: Coming Soon to a Lake Near You?” The report provides a look at how extreme weather and an increase in nonpoint source pollution from agriculture and failing septic systems are spurring its spread. Health impacts and economic costs are also reviewed. See below for experts and regional contacts.

The scourge continues to fly beneath the radar of national attention, in part because:

1. No federal agency currently tracks lake closures or health warnings nationally.
2. Few economic studies have assessed the national cost of freshwater hazardous algal blooms.
3. A minority of states monitor lakes and rivers for algal-related toxins.

Tracking of toxic algae showed that this summer:

  •     New York State led the US, with warnings issued at 50 different lakes and ponds.
  •     For the first time, Kentucky officials found toxic algae at four lakes, which collectively draw more than 5 million visitors a year. Some visitors to the lakes complained of rashes and intestinal problems.
  •     Western Lake Erie continues to experience a resurgence of toxic algal blooms, leading to health advisories and “do not drink” orders being issued by the state of Ohio. In contrast, the state of Michigan, which shares some of the same waters but does not currently have a formal monitoring or advisory program, issued no health advisories during that same time period.
  •     In southeast Florida, a massive toxic algae outbreak covered St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon with fluorescent green slime this summer, prompting warnings from health officials to not touch the water. Scores of dolphins, manatees, birds and fish have died.

“No one wants a green, sick lake,” said Andy Buchsbaum, regional executive director, National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center. “And yet that’s what communities across the country are facing. Excessive runoff is feeding an explosion of toxic algae that is choking our waters, closing our beaches, and posing a threat to people, pets, and wildlife. This is a national problem that demands a national solution.”

Heavy rains this spring and summer increased the volume of chemical fertilizer and manure from crops and livestock operations entering waterways across the US. Scientists caution that these conditions, plus record-high summer temperatures, contribute to the spread of toxic algae and associated lake closures. Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, can produce liver and nerve toxins that make people and pets sick, and even kill dogs. In addition to public health threats, toxic algae blooms in lake communities have a significant effect on local economies by reducing lake-related tourism.

“Toxic algae outbreaks slimed Florida’s inland waters this summer, killing wildlife, hurting property values and devastating tourism revenue,” said Manley Fuller, president, Florida Wildlife Federation. Thousands of residents have protested, calling for a statewide emergency management plan to stop the toxic slime.”

The report urges federal public officials to set limits on the amount of phosphorous allowed into waters; to maintain efforts to restore the nation’s great waters, including the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, and others; and to pass a strong Farm Bill that pays farmers to take specific actions to help protect soil and water quality.

Congress’ failure to reauthorize the Farm Bill jeopardizes funding for programs like the Conservation Stewardship program aimed at helping farmers protect water quality through implementation of agricultural best management practices. Those include planting cover crops, restoring wetlands or creating buffer strips to filter farm runoff.

More federal attention to the problem is needed. “The reach and extent of harmful algal blooms has likely been under-reported due to the lack of a national program to track health warnings and lakes closures,” said Alan Wilson, associate professor of limnology at Auburn University. “Regional monitoring networks could help fill this important scientific void, and tell us more about how climate change, land use and nutrient pollution influence HAB frequency and intensity."

The following experts and spokespeople are available to comment nationwide.

Andy Buchsbaum, Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center

Hans Paerl, Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
National science expert on the spread of freshwater hazardous algal blooms in the US and globally and the link between climate change and cyanobacteria.
(252) 726-6841, Ext. 133

Alan Wilson, Associate Professor of Limnology at Auburn University, Alabama
Alan is leading a US Geological Survey-funded project that is monitoring freshwater toxic algae freshwater sites in the SE US.
(334) 246-1120

Gregory L. Boyer, Faculty of Chemistry & Director, Great Lakes Research Consortium,
State University of New York
315-470-6855 (Department), 315-470-6825 (office)

Manley Fuller, President, Florida Wildlife Federation
(850) 567-7129

Troy Schroeder, President, Kansas Wildlife Federation
Mr. Schroeder is a farmer and sportsman who can comment on the impact of toxic algae in Kansas and farm-based solutions.
(795) 650-3182

Mark Peterson, farmer, Stanton, Iowa
Mr. Peterson can comment on his experience using farm-based practices like cover crops to boost soil health and protect water quality.
(712) 370-4004

Peggy McAloon, Colfax, Wisconsin
Co-Chair Education and Outreach, Tainter/Menomin Lake Improvement Association
Mrs. McAloon lives next to Lake Tainter, which has been beset with toxic algae for years. She can speak to the threats cyanobacteria pose to health, safe drinking water and local economies.
(715) 962-2301

Robert Ketley, Senior Utilities Engineer with the city of Watsonville, California
Robert has studied toxin levels at Pinto Lake and is spearheading solutions.
(831) 768-3137

Clayton Craeger, Senior Environmental Scientist, North Coast Regional Water Board
Santa Rosa, California
(707) 576-2666


Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2012 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. First Class Carpet Service Now Offering A+ Nontoxic Carpet Cleaning in Seattle and Kent Washington
2. Pet Marijuana Intoxication on the Rise: News from Pet Poison Helpline
3. Necrostatin-1 counteracts aluminums neurotoxic effects
4. Protocol for a clinical study on reduced toxicant prototype cigarettes published
5. Ingested nanoparticle toxicity
6. Offers Toxic-Free Vapor Steam Cleaner for Emergency Medical Services
7. Researchers investigate a less toxic radiation treatment for HPV-Positive oropharynx cancer
8. Improved chemo regimen for childhood leukemia may offer high survival, no added heart toxicity
9. Cancer drug prevents build-up of toxic brain protein
10. Children Living Near Toxic Waste Sites in Developing Countries May Experience Higher Blood Lead Levels Resulting in Lower IQ
11. Toxic Waste Sites Cause ‘Healthy Years of Life Lost’ for People Living in India, Philippines and Indonesia
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... As part of a ... ™ attracts volunteers together who want to combine talents and resources to help ... in the process. The non-profit launched its first major fundraiser on November 6, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Cokato, MN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve on several models of traditional and far-infrared saunas. ... . Nordic Spruce is the most traditional Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... TyloHelo Inc , North America’s largest ... accessories help improve the bather experience in the sauna, and the accessories selected ... purist looking for simplicity in design to accessories that encourage a greater expression ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... Commission (AUC), European Union (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public ... in Nairobi (UNON) for the opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... For the first time, Vitalalert is donating half of its ... The partnership between the two groups began in 2014 with Vitalalert pledging a portion ... International was founded in 1954 and is an international Christian-based health organization whose mission ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... is set to go online. The potential to save ... is vast and far from fully exploited as yet. ... patient health records, either via mobile tablet or directly ... --> ) --> ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Niederlande, November 27, 2015 ... fotodynamischer Bremachlorin-Therapie bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> ... Bremachlorin-Therapie bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> ... Bremachlorin-Therapie bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   Clinical ... --> Clinical Cancer Research vom ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Nov. 27, 2015  Lannett Company, ... it has completed the acquisition of Kremers Urban ... subsidiary of global biopharmaceuticals company UCB S.A. (Euronext: ... Lannett has acquired KU from UCB for ... certain adjustments, including a customary working capital adjustment, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: