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Toxic Algae: Coming Soon to a Lake Near You? New Online Map & Report from NWF Show National Reach of Freshwater Toxic Algae Scourge
Date:9/26/2013

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:

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