Attention readers! I just came across a post on the California Department of Water Resources website (http://www.water.ca.gov/ssr/microcystis.cfm) alerting us of a serious problem that scientists have recently become aware of. Apparently, there is an algae called Microcystis that can pose a real threat to wildlife. It occurs naturally and forms dense blooms on the surface of the water, and these mats can be dangerous for anyone or anything in the water. People swimming in areas of dense Microcystis blooms have “experience irritation such as skin rashes, burns and blistering of the mouth” (Special Studies Section-Microcystic). Ingestion or inhalation of this algae can cause even worse symptoms, for example vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia, and liver damage in humans and animals. Lucky, no human deaths have been reported yet, however microcystis has been found fatal to many animals. It is incredibly important that we keep animals away from this toxic algae, especially the poor sea otters! As soon as I hear more information about the algae and what can be done to prevent/remove it, I will update everyone through this blog. Keep your fingers crossed!
“Special Studies Section: Microcystis.” Special Studies Section. CA Department of Water Resources, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://www.water.ca.gov/ssr/microcystis.cfm>.
Published March 29, 2010.