Blue green algae blooms can produce toxins that can be harmful to people and animals. To best protect themselves, people and animals should avoid direct exposure to any discolored water, surface scums, or accumulated algae on the shoreline.
The symptoms of blue-green algae bloom exposure are very similar to symptoms from other gastrointestinal illnesses, including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties. If you experience any of these symptoms after exposure to a blue-green algae bloom, seek immediate medical assistance from your physician and contact your local health department.
Regulated swimming beaches are regularly evaluated by the Department of Health and local officials. Swimming may be supported at these beaches even when blue-green algae blooms are present in other parts of the lake.
Be aware of the potential presence of blooms in areas where you recreate. Avoid contact with floating rafts, scums, and discolored water and use your best judgment when recreating in these areas.
Because waterbodies may have blue-green algae blooms that have not been reported to DEC and it can be hard to tell a harmful algae bloom from other algae blooms we recommend avoiding contact with any floating rafts, scums, and discolored water—If you see it, avoid it and report it!
Sign up to the Division of Water's Making Waves email listserve to receive weekly updates on blue-green algae bloom notices in New York waterbodies. Making Waves also provides information about new and important water-related issues, events and news, which could affect your watershed.
To subscribe to the Makingwaves listserv~Subscribe to GovDelivery~, and enter the requested information. When you reach the topics page, check the "Making Waves" box under the "Water" category. You can expect to receive an email from this listserv about once a week.