Suffolk County health officials Tuesday announced the findings of cyanobacteria blooms, more commonly known as blue-green algae, in Willow Pond in Huntington Bay.
It’s the first recorded bloom this year, officials said, and now they’re warning residents not to swim or even wade in the pond — and to keep children and pets from the area, due to the health risks the blooms pose. The area affected includes an overflow box near the shoreline, about 200 feet west of Vineyard Road in Huntington Bay, officials said.
Cyanobacteria are a naturally formed group of photosynthetic oxygen-producing bacteria that produce a range of toxins, known as cyanotoxins, that are harmful to animals and humans.
Willow Pond has had prior outbreaks, and health officials warn if contact does occur to rinse with clean water immediately and to seek medical attention if you have symptoms of infection.
Those symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation; or, allergic reactions and breathing difficulties.
To find the status of all fresh waters in New York State, access the state Department of Environmental Conservation website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/96801.html.
For more information on algae blooms, go to: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae/.