Blue Green Algae Monitoring

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Algal pic Cyanobacteria Bloom

cyanobacterial bloom image courtesy MOE

Cyanobacteria, commonly termed blue-green algae, are a type of photosynthetic bacteria that occur in freshwaters. Blue-green algal blooms are commonly found in freshwater bodies throughout the world.  Blooms usually occur in late summer or early fall and are dependent on specific environmental conditions, such as calm water conditions, high temperatures and elevated phosphorous levels.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and partners are working to better understand the environmental factors such as phosphorus levels and weather conditions that contribute to blue-green algal blooms.

Blue Green Algae Monitoring Program

Cyanobacterial Monitoring Workshop participant Algoma Apr2013Between the spring and fall of 2013, FOCA, the Central Algoma Freshwater Coalition, and the MOE will monitor cyanobacteria, water chemistry, lake temperature, dissolved oxygen, and other environmental factors in four lakes in Algoma, an area in the Northern Region that has experienced recurrent blue-green algal blooms.

The data collected will be used to investigate the factors that may trigger an algae bloom, and assess why blooms occur in some lakes but not others. Monitoring studies such as the Algoma project, which was made possible by partnerships with lake stewards, are a valuable approach to understanding algal blooms and protecting Ontario lakes.

Stay tuned for an update in the FOCA Lake Stewards Newsletter, 2014 edition.

Michelle LewinBlue Green Algae Monitoring