For years, harmful algae blooms have tainted various Long Island waters, but local residents got a harsh wakeup on a long-term problem when three dogs in North Carolina died hours after frolicking in a pond with toxic blue-green algae. Suffolk County consistently tops the state's counties in the number of ponds, lakes and other fresh waters colonized by cyanobacteria, a blue-green or green algae with a paint-like, scummy appearance floating on the surface, said biologist Chris Gobler, a Stony Brook University professor who has been testing waters for this algae since 2003.  Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware