30 August 2011

Early morning today, north-east of Cape Town (Photo: Bill Harding)

Firstly, huge thanks to all who contributed to the flood of very positive comments following last night’s TV programme on phosphates in detergents.  I heard from people who I have not contacted for ages!

Four days from Labor Day weekend, Kansas’ largest lake is closed because of dangerously high blue-green algae counts.  Some areas of Milford Reservoir near Junction City had counts of about 5 million blue-green algae cells per milliliter of lake water, according to Jonathan Larance, Kansas Department of Health and Environment public information officer.    These record-breaking levels of toxic algae have forced officials to close this popular boating and fishing destination.  Additionally, several pet deaths and possible illnesses in people are being blamed on the massive blue-green algae bloom.

Also in The Land of Dorothy, Wellington Lake has registered a toxic algal bloom.

In Oregon, new, heightened warnings have been issued for Lake Erie, as tests show increased levels of toxic algae in the water.  Signs have been posted at Maumee Bay State Park, warning visitors not to swim in the water and to avoid touching the surface scum.  The toxic algae that spreads across the western basin of Lake Erie each summer is the worst recorded since researchers started tracking the problem in 2002.  In fact, this “bloom” of blue-green algae is more than twice as dense as the record bloom that plagued the lake in the summer of 2009, according to tests performed by the University of Toledo.

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