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Four Lakes, Ponds Impacted by Toxic Algae Blooms

Fri, 06/21/2024 - 15:21
Mill Pond in Water Mill was confirmed to have a toxic algal bloom recently.
Ian Robinson

Be careful near local lakes and ponds: Stony Brook University researchers have confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria blooms in four more local bodies of water. Contact with the algae, commonly known as blue-green algae, should be avoided.

Long Pond in Bridgehampton, Poxabogue Pond in Sagaponack, Mill Pond in Water Mill, and Agawam Lake in Southampton were confirmed this week. It was also discovered earlier this month in Wainscott Pond.

A Suffolk County press release advises that "contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided." The algae can produce "floating scums on the surface of the water" and give affected waters a paint-like appearance.

If contact occurs, one should rinse off immediately with clean water. If symptoms occur, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irritation in the skin, eyes, or throat, allergic reactions, or difficulty breathing, medical attention should be sought.

Health officials ask residents not to recreate in the affected areas. Children and pets should be kept away from the listed waters.

Blue-green algae is naturally present in lakes in streams in low numbers. The algae can become abundant, forming blooms in green, blue-green, yellow, brown, or red.

If a blue-green algae bloom is suspected at a Suffolk County-permitted beach, its finder should contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology at 631-852-5760 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The department can also be reached by email at any time at [email protected].

If the beach is not a Suffolk County-permitted beach, the contact is the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at [email protected]

This story has been updated since it was first published to correct the location of the Long Pond algal bloom.


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