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​Find past newsletter articles, press releases, and other media showcasing local agriculture, placed-based education, and conservation of natural resources in Sullivan County.

Green Goo or Cyanobacteria

Until recently, I had only heard of cyanobacteria as it relates to lichen. Lichen is a composite organism made up of a fungal partner and an algae or cyanobacteria partner. Cyanobacteria contains chlorophyll, which means it can use solar energy to produce food through a process called photosynthesis.

What I didn't realize was that cyanobacteria is found in many places including ponds and lakes. Cyanobacteria blooms in bodies of water may be toxic to humans and other organisms. NH Fish and Game test certain bodies of water and put out warnings and watches where these blooms are present. They strongly suggest no contact with the water when blooms are present, but even living on a lake with a bloom can be harmful, because some of the cyanotoxins can move through the air.

Now, I know this sounds scary, and I try not to scare people away from spending time outdoors, but it is best to know about these kind of things.

Cyanobacteria blooms can be prevented and education on how they occur, how to identify a bloom, and what impact they have on communities is necessary in order to prevent them. An excess of nutrients running off into the water is usually the cause of the bloom. Lakefront property owners play the most important role in preventing blooms, but everyone in the watershed (and we all live in a watershed) have a responsibility to be good stewards of natural resources.

Check out the NH Lakes Association page to learn how to be a Lake Smart.

Check out the NH Fish and Game Healthy Swimmer Mapper this summer before enjoying a body of water.

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