Trustees Close Georgica Pond Because of Algae Bloom

The East Hampton Town Trustees have closed Georgica Pond to the harvesting of crabs or any other marine life due to a bloom of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, confirmed in the pond's southwest corner.

On Friday, the trustees issued an advisory to the public and posted signs around the pond warning against swimming or wading near the blooms or surface scum, or drinking the water. Children and pets should be kept away from the area, and anyone exposed to it should rinse with clean water. Anyone experiencing nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions, or breathing difficulties after contact with the water should seek medical attention. 

Cyanobacteria have also bloomed this summer in Wainscott Pond, Lake Agawam in Southampton, Mill Pond in Water Mill, Roth Pond in Stony Brook, Laurel Lake in Laurel, Maratooka Lake in Mattituck, and Fresh Pond on Shelter Island.

Though blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, 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. 

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom at a body of water that contains a Suffolk County-permitted bathing beach, residents have been asked to contact the County Health Department's office of ecology at 631-852-5760 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or by email at scdhsweb@suffolkcountyny.gov

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom that is in a body of water that does not contain a county-permitted bathing beach, residents have been asked to contact the division of water at the State Department of Environmental Conservation 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 offers a comprehensive list of affected water bodies in the state.