Recent sampling performed by SUNY Stony Brook has confirmed new cyanobacteria blooms, more commonly known as blue–green algae, in Old Town Pond in Southampton.
Currently, cyanobacteria blooms exist at the following Suffolk County locations:
o Mill Pond, Southampton
o Maratooka Pond, Mattituck
o Agawam Lake, Southampton
o Old Town Pond, Southampton
o Lake Ronkonkoma
Due to these findings, health officials ask residents not to use or swim or wade in these waters and to keep their pets and children away from the area. Extra precautions should be taken to avoid direct exposure to waters at Maratooka Lake and Mill Pond, as levels of cyanobacteria and associated toxins are very high.
Though blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms mostly typically in shades of green but also in shades of blue-green, yellow, brown or red. They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance.
Contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided. If contact does occur, rinse off with clean water immediately. Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur after contact: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation; or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.
To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom that is in a body of water that does not contain a Suffolk County permitted bathing beach, contact the Division of Water at New York State DEC: 518-402-8179 between 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or anytime via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom at a body of water that does contain a Suffolk County-permitted bathing beach, contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology at 631-852-5760 between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. or by email at any time at email@example.com
For a comprehensive list of affected waterbodies in New York State, visit the DEC’s Harmful Algal Bloom Notification Page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310.html
For more information about blue-green algae, visit the Suffolk County website: http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/EnvironmentalQuality/Ecology/MarineWaterQualityMonitoring/HarmfulAlgalBlooms/Cyanobacteria.aspx