More bloomin’ algae

Freshwater sources threatened by toxic levels of cyanobacteria

As concerns grow over an enormous toxic algae bloom spreading through ocean waters from California to Alaska, scientists also are warning of algae threatening drought-stricken freshwater sources.

<According to a report conducted by <b>Oregon State University, cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, is flourishing due to a combination of factors that include increased wastewater nutrients and agricultural runoff as well as rising temperatures and CO2 levels.

“In 2015, drought and low snowpack throughout the West has led to large and toxic algae bloom earlier than previous years,” the report reads.

Drinking cyanobacteria-contaminated water can be fatal to pets or wildlife, and the report notes that both the Willamette River and Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon have posted warnings due to the current bloom.

And in California, a toxic cynobacteria bloom has forced the closure of Lake Temescal in Oakland for the second year in a row.