Molti laghi e laghetti entrano nella lista delle alghe pericolose di New York

More lakes, ponds join New York algae list

Jul. 13, 2013
md algae 070913 MET

Dan Lalonde of Penfield is one of the Honeoye Lake vacation homeowners concerned with the toxicity on the shore line of the lake preventing his family from enjoying from the natural recreational resources. The neighbors are not sure what is causing the earlier growth of the algae responsible for the toxicity and bad odor. Tuesday, July 9, 2013. / MARIE DE JESUS/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Written by Steve Orr, Staff writer

A week ago, parts of Honeoye Lake in Ontario County were bedeviled by the smelly, sometimes-toxic scourge that afflicts a growing number of New York waterbodies — blue green algae.

The lake’s lone public swimming beach was closed, and shoreline residents and boaters complained bitterly that their quality of lake life was taking another hit.

“We end up losing two months from mid-July to … well, last year it was October before the water was clear again,” said John Renner, who’s lived on the lake his entire life. “There are times when you have to just sit in the air-conditioned house because you can’t stand the smell.”

By mid-week, however, the algae had dissipated to the point where Bill Hershey, dispatched by the Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation Service to sample for algal toxin, couldn’t find anything to sample.

He reckoned cooler temperatures and a strong wind on Wednesday broke up the algae blooms. Sandy Bottom Beach re-opened Friday, and Renner reported the algae at his east-shore home had retreated.

How long the respite lasts is unknown. “If the wind stops blowing and the sun comes out, you could have another bloom at any time in any place,” Hershey said.

Honeoye is hardly alone in its periodic bouts of algal distress. Last year alone, 23 more New York lakes, ponds, bays and reservoirs joined the list of water bodies where potentially dangerous algal toxins have been found.

That makes 141 bodies of water in New York where the liver or nerve toxin has been identified, according to figures compiled by theDemocrat and Chronicle. The database is derived from the first-ever systematic toxin sampling in New York, conducted over the last four years by the state’s environmental and health agencies.

Findings in 2012 underscore the fact that the toxins, blamed for killing pets and wildlife and sickening at least a few New Yorkers, can pop up virtually anywhere. They’ve been found in some of the state’s largest lakes, in drinking-water reservoirs and in tiny ponds in urban parks.

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