The Department of Environmental Services has been issuing more warnings than it usually does at this point in the summer for algal blooms, potentially toxic mats of cyanobacteria.
But David Neils, chief water pollution biologist at the department, says that uptick is partly caused by an increase in public awareness.
“People are becoming educated about cyanobacteria, so they’re looking for them more often, and call us more often.”
Some of those blooms that residents call DES about are small or nontoxic, but the department issues a warning just to be safe.
But the department can't say whether the number of algal blooms is in fact increasing from year to year. DES does not currently have the resources to keep track.
We are about to enter peak algae season, so be warned.