Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Going Paddling? Read This First!

Photo credit: Tom Archer

After your vessel and gear are squared away, remember to avoid toxic algae and paddle safe. Be on the lookout for:

  1. Paint-like scum on water surface (may be green, brown, or red)
  2. Low visibility
  3. Bad smell
  4. Dead fish
  5. A history of Harmful Algal Blooms, or HABs (check with your local department of environmental quality or public health)
Unfortunately, dangerous toxic algae outbreaks, or Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are a widespread problem in waterways across the U.S., but few states have programs dedicated to monitoring or reporting on these outbreaks. That's the top finding in the 2014 Harmful Algal Bloom State Survey, a new 50-state survey from Resource Media and the National Wildlife Federation. 

Nearly three-quarters of the responding states reported that HABs are either a "somewhat serious" or a "very serious" problem, and we know from our research that many states are making significant efforts to address toxic algae. Yet too often, their efforts are stymied by a lack of funding or other resources. To understand how pollution that feeds toxic algae starts upstream--check out this infographic.

-Written by Aileo Weinmann, Senior Program Director at Resource Media

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