Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More state park lakes closed because of toxic aglae

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has issued advisories for two more state park lakes due to heavy infiltration of blue-green algae.

Joining 12,626-acre Grand Lakes St. Marys in Mercer County are 632-acre Burr Oak Lake in Morgan County and 16-acre Cutler Lake within Blue Rock State Park in Muskingum County.

The growth of the noxious and potentially health-threatening blue-green algae - cyanobacteria - has become a particularly odious problem this summer in some inland Ohio lakes. High temperatures and lights rains have contributed to large blooms of the algae which are often fed by high farm-related nutrient runoff into a watershed.

It is recommended not to swim, fish or boat at Grand Lake St. Marys and Cutler Lake while people are cautioned to avoid contact with any surface "scum" found in the lake.

Some improvement is being seen at Burr Oak Lake and it is possible that the advisories here may be lifted by the end of this week, ODNR officials say.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown has introduced legislation that would authorize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide grants to the various states to use the latest science to sample and test water quality and to alert the public to harmful algal blooms.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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