Rhode Island officials lift advisories for blue-green algae
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island health and environmental officials have lifted recreational advisories that have been in place for a number of bodies of water because of a blue-green algae known as cyanobacteria.
The Rhode Island Department of Health and the state Department of Environmental Management earlier this week announced that seasonal cooling and declining daylight have signaled a great reduction in risk.
However, officials said there’s no guarantee the toxins are absent, warning that a warm spell could trigger an algae bloom during the winter or spring. While the seasonal monitoring of cyanobacteria in 2019 is complete, the public is reminded to avoid contact with any body of water that appears to be bright green or has a dense, floating mass on the surface.
Blue-green algae blooms may also look like green paint or thick pea soup and the toxins may still persist in the water even if the bloom is no longer visible.
Advisories have been lifted for Paradise Pond in Middletown, Sisson Pond in Portsmouth, Slack Reservoir in Smithfield-Johnston, Carbuncle Pond in Coventry, Almy Pond in Newport, Elm Lake in Providence, JL Curran Resevoir in Cranston, Mashapaug, Pleasure and Roosevelt ponds in Providence, and Melville Pond in Portsmouth. As of earlier this week, an advisory was still in place for Watson Reservoir in Little Compton, where there were still visual signs of a cyanobacteria bloom.
People who come into contact with potentially affected waters should rinse their skin and wash their clothes with clean water as soon as possible. Meanwhile, people with pets that exhibit adverse health symptoms after coming in contact with potentially affected waters should contact their veterinarians.