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Will algae blooms spotted in Erie, PA head to Buffalo?

Algae Bloom
Posted at 4:34 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 17:23:41-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In Erie, Pennsylvania, algae blooms have been spotted at multiple locations around Lake Erie. Those spots have been marked as "no swim zones" for dogs and pets as algae blooms can be deadly.

In Erie County, the emergence of the toxin has yet to be seen this year.

"So far it has not been brought to my attention that we have toxic algae blooms in Erie County" Dr. Gale Burstein, Commissioner of Health for Erie County, said.

The algae blooms found in Erie exceed the safety limit for dogs who would be in the waters. If ingested, algae blooms can cause people and animals to get very sick. For dogs, their tolerance is lower and can even die as a result of algae blooms. Erie county Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein says the finding of algae blooms is fairly common.

"This is something we see throughout New York State and especially in the inland lakes where they can be subject to a lot of run off," Dr. Burstein said, "It can be a welcoming environment for this type of algae."

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation keeps a log to show exactly how many algae bloom sightings there have been in state waterways. According to their account from 2020, only Green Lake and Clear Lake had algae bloom reports totaling two sightings in the county. Despite this, the ECDOH is asking you to be attentive.

"If there is a toxic algae bloom the local health department should put out a warning advising people of where its located and how to protect themselves," Dr. Burstein said.

The DEC and DOH would not say that there is any immediate danger for the Western New York area. They do advise anyone to take a look before entering a body of water, as the DOH will monitor the situation.

"We conduct surveillance observations all over Erie County and for all of New York State for toxic algae blooms," Dr. Burstein said.