Health officials are warning residents not to enter the waters of Lake Marratooka in Mattituck after sampling by SUNY/Stony Brook confirmed the presence of a new cyanobacteria bloom, more commonly known as blue-green algae.
Blue-green algae are microscopic organisms found in marine and freshwater environments. They are usually present in low numbers, but under favorable conditions of sunlight, temperature, and nutrient concentrations, can form massive blooms that discolor the water and often result in scum and floating mats on the water’s surface, according to the Suffolk County Health Services website.
Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins that can cause health problems in humans and animals if exposed to large enough quantities. For these reasons, officials ask residents not to use, swim or wade in these and keep pets and children away from the area as well.
The sampling also confirmed the presence of the cyanobacteria is still present in Laurel Lake in Laurel and Wainscott Pond in East Hampton.
Officials advise seeking medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur after contact with water that appears scummy or discolored: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye, or throat irritation; or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.