State Lakes are Safe

The following article is from the current newsletter of the N.H. Lakes Association.

Concord — July 20, 2009 — Despite what you might have heard on the radio or read in the newspapers lately, New Hampshire is not the “cyanobacteria capital of the world” and it has not been proven that Lou Gehrig’s disease is caused by toxic bacteria blooms in our lakes and ponds.

While a few advisories have been posted by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) to warn residents about the potential danger of recreating in areas experiencing a toxic bloom, and researchers are investigating a possible link between Lou Gehrig’s disease and cyanobacteria blooms, N.H. Lakes Association Education Director Andrea LaMoreaux says “we don’t want people to be afraid to swim in New Hampshire’s lakes — they are among the cleanest in the nation.”

“We want lake users to be educated about what is in their favorite lake and how to help prevent it from experiencing a toxic bloom in the first place.”

LaMoreaux adds, “we are lucky in New Hampshire that we recreate in one of the only states where lakes are tested for this potentially toxic bacteria on a statewide basis.”

At this year’s Lakes Congress (hosted by N.H. Lakes Association at Colby Sawyer College on June 26th) attendees found out exactly what this means for their summer on the lakes. Officials from DES were present with specific information on this most current issue of concern.

Jared Teutsch, President of N.H. Lakes Association, states the need for clarity. “We don’t want people to be afraid to go in the water,” says Teutsch, explaining the need for awareness in helping to inform the public and create more eyes on potential lake issues of concern.

Cyanobacteria scums typically look like paint chips or bright green balls floating in the water and are usually caused by excessive nutrient pollution into surface waters coupled by warming water temperatures. DES advises that if you notice anything resembling cyanobacteria, to refrain from wading, swimming, or drinking the water. Keep all pets out of the water and contact DES at (603) 419-9229 to immediately report a potential bloom.

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