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Harmful Algal Blooms
Harmful algal blooms are a major environmental problem in all 50 states. Known as red tides, blue-green algae or cyanobacteria, harmful algal blooms have severe impacts on human health, aquatic ecosystems and the economy.
- What are harmful algal blooms?
Harmful algal blooms are overgrowths of algae in water. Some produce dangerous toxins in fresh or marine water but even nontoxic blooms hurt the environment and local economies.
- What are the effects of harmful algal blooms?
Harmful algal blooms can:
- Produce extremely dangerous toxins that can sicken or kill people and animals
- Create dead zones in the water
- Raise treatment costs for drinking water
- Hurt industries that depend on clean water
- What causes harmful algal blooms?
Harmful algal blooms need:
- Slow-moving water
- Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus)
Nutrient pollution from human activities makes the problem worse, leading to more severe blooms that occur more often.
- Stay out of the water if:
- It's slimy or looks like foam.
- The color is weird or looks like paint. Algal blooms can be blue, bright green, brown, or red.
- It smells bad.
It can be hard to tell if an algal bloom is toxic so pay attention to local water advisories.
- Find information from your state
- Protect your pets and livestock
Harmful algae can be dangerous for animals who drink or swim in affected water.
- Find research and publications
- Learn from experts
Join us for a free online presentation by experts. Follow the conversation on Twitter using #greenwater.Register: Linking Nutrient Pollution and Harmful Algal Blooms: State of the Science and EPA Actions Exit
September 25th, 1:00-3:00 pm EST