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DEC: Cyanobacteria Blooms Occurring in Wickapogue Pond

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed the presence of a cyanobacteria bloom in Wickapogue Pond in Southampton.

Due to the finding of high levels of toxic cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue–green algae, health officials ask residents not to use or swim or wade in these waters and to keep their pets and children away from the area.

Other water bodies affected by blue-green algae, as confirmed by the DEC in June, are Lake Maratooka in Mattituck, Lake Agawam and Mill Pond in Southampton, and Big Reed Pond in Montauk.

Residents who have been recently exposed to cyanobacteria at these water bodies and have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties are advised to seek medical attention.

Though blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red. They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance.

Contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided. If contact does occur, rinse off with clean water immediately, and if symptoms occur, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties, seek medical attention.

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom at a body of water that contains a Suffolk County permitted bathing beach, contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology at 631-852-5760.

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom that is in a body of water that does not contain a Suffolk County permitted bathing beach, contact the Division of Water at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 518-402-8179.

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