Stony Brook University has confirmed cyanobacteria blooms, more commonly known as blue–green algae, in Maratooka Lake in Mattituck. Due to these findings, health officials ask residents not to use, swim or wade in these waters and to keep their pets and children away from the area.
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. Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur after contact: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation; or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.
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 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.
For more information about blue-green algae, visit Suffolk County’s website.