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RIDOH and DEM Recommend Lifting Restrictions for Blue-green Algae in Georgiaville Pond, Blackamore Pond, and Larkin Pond

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) recommend lifting the advisory restricting recreational activities at Georgiaville Pond in Smithfield, Blackamore Pond in Cranston, and Larkin Pond in South Kingstown. The advisory related to high levels of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, and associated toxins.

Recent consecutive surveys by DEM and sample analysis conducted by RIDOH's State Health Laboratories confirmed that blue-green algae has been at acceptably low levels and that cyanotoxins are not present in detectable concentrations at Georgiaville Pond. These findings meet state guidelines to support lifting the advisory.

Blue-green algae are generally less active as seasonal changes reduce light and temperature in the winter. As the blue-green algae monitoring season ends due to this naturally reduced activity and less recreational contact with waters, DEM is conducting visual surveys to determine if blue-green algae has diminished at all lakes/ponds with active advisories. Blackamore Pond and Larkin Pond met the visual threshold this week to lift the advisory. All other ponds with current advisories remain with visual evidence of blue-green algae.

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 also look like green paint or thick pea soup.

For more information and a list of active and 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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