UPDATE – JULY 7: RIDOH has added Lower Melville Pond in Portsmouth to the list of RI water bodies with blue-green algae blooms. An earlier advisory associated with the bloom in Upper Melville Pond (as known as Thurston Gray Pond) remains in effect.
The following current warnings about toxic blue-green algae, harmful to people and pets, remain in effect, (and DEM warns other bodies of water in the state may be affected but not yet added to the list):
Roosevelt Pond Providence 6/27/2022
Tiogue Lake Coventry 6/27/2022
Turner Reservoir East Providence 6/24/2022
Upper Melville Pond Portsmouth 6/24/2022
Almy Pond Newport 6/10/2022
ORIGINAL STORY: PROVIDENCE, RI— The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) are advising people to avoid contact with Roosevelt Pond in Roger Williams Park in Providence and Tiogue Lake in Coventry due to blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria) blooms.
Blue-green algae can produce toxins that can harm humans and animals and toxins were present in recent samples at both sites.
People, animals at risk in toxic waters
People should be careful not to ingest water or eat fish from the ponds. All recreation, including fishing, boating, and kayaking, should be avoided. Animals who may ingest pond water are especially at risk from exposure to the algal toxins, so owners should not allow pets to drink or swim in the water. The advisory will remain in effect until further notice.
Skin contact with water containing blue-green algae commonly causes irritation of the skin, nose, eyes, and/or throat. Common health effects associated with ingesting water containing algal toxins include stomach-ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Rarer health effects include dizziness, headache, fever, liver damage, and nervous system damage. Young children and pets are at a particular risk for health effects associated with algal toxins. People who have had contact with pond waters and experience those symptoms should contact their healthcare provider.
What to do if you contact blue-green algae blooms in lakes & ponds
If you come into contact with the water, rinse your skin with clean water as soon as possible and, when you get home, take a shower and wash your clothes. Similarly, if your pet comes into contact with the water, immediately wash your pet with clean water. Do not let the animal lick its fur. Call a veterinarian if your animal shows any symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning, including loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or any unexplained sickness that occurs within a day or so after being in contact with water. People are cautioned that toxins may persist in the water after the blue-green algae bloom is no longer visible.
Blue-green algae blooms may also be affecting other waterbodies in Rhode Island. People are advised to avoid contact with waterbodies that exhibit bright green coloration in the water or at the water surface and/or dense floating algal mats that form on the water’s surface. The water may look like green paint, thick pea soup, or green cottage cheese.
For more information and a list of current and historical advisories, go to www.dem.ri.gov/bluegreen Please send reports of suspected blue-green algae blooms, along with photographs, if possible to [email protected].
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