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RIDOH and DEM Recommend Lifting Restrictions for Blue-green Algae in Slack Reservoir, and Sachem and Worden Ponds

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) recommend lifting the recreational advisories at Slack Reservoir in Smithfield/Johnston, Sachem Pond in New Shoreham (Block Island), and Worden Pond in South Kingstown. The recreational advisories were related to high levels of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.

The surveys conducted at the sites found no evidence of cyanobacteria blooms. Blue-green algae are generally less active as seasonal changes reduce light and temperature. However, the possibility of blooms and/or toxin persisting after the bloom is gone represent potential risks, even in iced-over conditions.

Regardless of season, the public is reminded to avoid contact with any body of water that is bright green or has a dense, floating scum. Blue-green algae blooms may look like green paint or thick pea soup.

For more information and a list of historical advisories, visit www.dem.ri.gov/bluegreen. Send reports of suspected blue-green algae blooms, along with photographs if possible, to DEM.OWRCyano@dem.ri.gov.

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