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RIDOH and DEM Recommend Lifting Restrictions for Blue-green Algae in Upper and Lower Melville Ponds and Almy 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 Lower Melville Pond and Upper Melville Pond (also known as Thurston Gray Pond) in Portsmouth and at Almy Pond in Newport. The advisories related to high levels of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, and associated toxins.

Recent consecutive visual surveys by DEM at these sites found blue-green algae reduced to acceptable levels. The 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, RIDEM is conducting visual surveys to determine if blue-green algae has diminished at all lakes and ponds with active advisories. Melville Ponds and Almy Pond met the visual threshold this week to lift the advisories. Advisories remain in effect for waters in Roger Williams Park, Wenscott Reservoir, and J.L. Curran Reservoir due to continued 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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