State Issues Cyanobacteria Lake Warning for West Shoreline of Bear Island, Meredith
Concord, NH – An elevated cyanobacteria cell concentration has been measured along the west shoreline of Bear Island on Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith. Samples revealed that the state standard of 50% or greater of the total cells from the bloom were identified as cyanobacteria. As a result, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has issued a cyanobacteria lake warning for those who recreate around Bear Island. The current bloom is variable with some shoreline areas free of elevated cell conditions while some other areas have blue-green clouds in the water. Recent sightings report blue-green clouds within coves on the west side of Bear Island. Please continue to monitor your individual shoreline for changing conditions.
This warning is not based on a toxin evaluation and is intended as a precautionary measure for short term exposure. DES advises lake users to avoid contact with the water in areas experiencing elevated cyanobacteria cell conditions typically where lake water has a blue-green surface scum, clouds or flecks. DES also advises pet owners to keep their pets out of any waters that have these conditions.
DES routinely monitors public beaches and public waters of the state for cyanobacteria. Once a cyanobacteria lake warning has been issued, DES returns to affected waterbodies on a weekly basis until the cyanobacteria standards are again met. Cyanobacteria are natural components of water bodies worldwide, but blooms and surface scums may form when excess phosphorus is available to the water. Some cyanobacteria produce toxins that are stored within the cells but released upon cell death. Toxins can cause both acute and chronic health effects that range in severity. Acute health effects include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Chronic effects include liver and central nervous system damage.
The June 28, 2011 warning will remain in effect until additional samples reveal cyanobacteria levels have diminished.
Visit the DES Beach Program website for photos and more information about cyanobacteria at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/beaches/index.htm
Updates on advisories and warnings may be obtained at http://www2.des.state.nh.us/Advisories/Beaches/
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