Algae Bloom in Fort Pond

Sampling performed by State University at Stony Brook researchers has confirmed blooms of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, at Fort Pond in Montauk, Poxabogue Pond in Sagaponack, and Sayre Pond and Cooper’s Neck Pond in Southampton.

Health officials have asked residents not to use, swim, or wade in those waters and to keep pets and children away. The advisory will remain in effect until the concentration of blue-green algae meets the state threshold and the water is not visibly discolored for at least 24 hours.

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, which may produce floating scum on the surface of the water or cause the water to take on a paint-like appearance. 

Contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided. If contact does occur, one should rinse with clean water immediately, and seek medical attention if nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, skin, eye, or throat irritation, allergic reactions, or breathing difficulties occur.

Residents have been asked to report suspected blue-green algae blooms to the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s division of water, at 518-402-8179 between 8 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or via email at habsinfo@dec.ny.gov.

The D.E.C.’s algal-bloom notification page is at  dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310. html.