Blue-Green Algae Blooms Found in Fort Pond

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, was found in Fort Pond in Montauk, according to Suffolk County health officials. The testing was performed by researchers at Stony Brook University. 

Health officials advise residents not to use or swim or wade in Fort Pond and to keep their pets and children away from the area.  There is no bathing beach at Fort Pond, but the body of water is often used for kayaking and paddleboarding. Cyanobacteria has been detected in the pond a number of times over the past few years.

Blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, the Health department said. But, in high numbers, the toxic algae blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red.

If you come into contact with water that appears "scummy or discolored," according to the health department, rinse off with clean water immediately. Seek medical attention if you experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, or have skin, eye, or throat irritations. Allergic reactions or difficulty breathing can also occur. 

Blue-green algae was also found in Lake Ronkonkoma, where there is a beach. The beach is closed to bathing. 

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom at a body of water that contains a county-designated bathing beach, the Department of Health Services’ office of ecology can be contacted at 631-852-5760 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or by email at scdhsweb@suffolkcountyny.gov.

The Division of Water at the State Department of Environmental Conservation can be contacted to report a suspected blue-green algae bloom in a water body that is not a county sanctioned bathing beach at 518-402-8179 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., or via email at habsinfo@dec.ny.gov.

The D.E.C.’s harmful algal bloom notification page features a comprehensive list of affected water bodies and can be visited for more information.