CyanoAlert

3 March 2011

Concern is starting to spread regarding the influence that climate change will have on algal growth in already overfed lakes (see here).  A rigorous analysis conducted in Denmark has provided initial values just how serious this could be (and thats in Denmark! – imagine what it will be like in the warmer, drier bits).  Equally, the warnings about oestrogenic activity in cyanobacteria are receiving increasing attention.

Algal alerts have been issued in Australia for Farmers CreekToonumbar Dam,  while a general warning has been issued for all farmers to be alert for algal blooms in their dams.  The warning for Lake Eildon has been lifted (see also here).   In New Zealand a warning has been issued for Hamilton Lake.

On the prevention side, a number of initiatives (mostly in the USA) are starting up or continuing:  Attention continues to be drawn to the dangers of over-fertilization with phosphorus (South Africa is a phosphorus surplus area so additional applications need to be made with caution – i.e. don’t fertilize in excess of what the crops actually need and can assimilate) (see also here);  tougher nutrient controls are being considered in St Lucie (Florida); the Audubon Society (synonymous with good fertilization practices), are learning more about cyanobacteria; the restoration of Lake Champlain (numerous references in this blog) has been (rightly) dubbed a societal moral responsibility; in Bellingham (Washington State), a ban on phosphorus in lawn fertilizers has been passed; in Utah attempts to repeal the ban on phosphorus in dishwasher detergents has failed for the third time (good to see some common sense prevailing) readers of this blog may remember clever Steve Sandstrom who believes that “the environmental harm of phosphorus is overblown, and can actually improve air quality because it helps plants grow” (with this level of intelligence no wonder they were confused about Weapons of Mass Destruction);

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