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Albany County Issues Advisory on Algae Bloom at Lawson Lake County Park

8/26/2014 1:54:01 PM

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today issued an advisory that a blue-green algae bloom has developed at Lawson Lake County Park. Conditions typical to the bloom exist that may pose health problems to people and pets. The blooms naturally occur in shallow nutrient rich bodies of water, especially during hot weather.

The 420-acre county park re-opened to the public last year, but there is no swimming allowed. The county is coordinating with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that signage warning the public on the algae bloom is prominently posted.

At this point, the bloom is limited in size. Prohibiting fishing or any other non-contact activities is not necessary at this time, however rinsing off any areas that come into contact with the bloom (skin, clothes, paddles) with clean water and soap is recommended. Currently, the bloom is concentrated in the middle and southwest corner of the lake, near the beach area.

Having said that, it is recommended not to fish or consume fish coming from the areas of dense blooms. If anyone begins to experience any of the symptoms associated with exposure- asthma or difficulty breathing or nausea - they should immediately get away from the water and seek medical attention if needed.

“It’s important that people and animals be aware of the algae blooms at Lawson Lake,” McCoy said. “As in the past nature will take its course and with cooler weather the blooms will die off. We are providing this notice so that the public is aware of the bloom. There are hiking trails and many other recreational activities for residents to enjoy at the park.”

Here are some recommendations for the public:

•Avoid swimming or wading near blooms or surface scum
•Keep children or pets away from blooms
•Rinse with clean water if exposed
•Seek medical attention if symptoms develop such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.

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