Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, has been found in many local lakes and ponds prompting the RI DEM, and RI Department of Health to advise people to avoid the ponds where the algae is present.
Elizabeth Scott, Deputy Chief of the Office of Water Resources, explains, "the cyanobacteria, which is also known as blue-green algae basically are little microscopic plants that grow in the water columns and they basically are fueled by nutrients that are in the water column like fertilizer that we use on our lawns."
Should you come in contact with the waters, you should wash yourself as soon as possible. Some effects the potentially toxic algae forms are skin rashes, irritation to the nose, throat and eyes. If ingested, health effects can include stomach aches, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
Keep in mind your vulnerable pets, who may wade in the water or drink the water that may have the potentially dangerous algae blooms.
The nutrients that aid the growth of the blue green algae can be decreased by not feeding local geese, cleaning up after your pets, reducing the amount of fertilizer you use, and when washing your car, rinse the sudsy water onto the grass instead of the pavement.
The ponds that are effected include, Sisson Pond - Portsmouth, Bailey Brook - Middletown, Easton Pond North - Middletown, Easton Pond South - Middletown, Gardiner Pond - Middletown, Paradise Pond - Middletown, St. Mary's Pond - Portsmouth, Watson Pond - Little Compton, and Mashapaug Pond - Providence.