Reclaiming Ohi:yo'- Restoring the Altered Landscape of the Beautiful River

Harmful Algal Blooms: Why Should you be Cautious?

While not all Blue-Green Algal Blooms are toxic, when they are, they can have serious negative effects on your health, especially of our elders and children. The only definitive way to tell if it is toxic is to send it to a lab to be tested. Therefore, it is best to avoid contact with blooms at all times.

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) can negatively affect human health through inhalation, direct contact, and ingestion. There are over 200 species of cyanobacteria, which produce many different kinds of toxins with varying health effects. 

In 2012 HABs were reported along Ohi:yo' from Willow Bay to Cold Spring Creek, a span of about 10-miles, with blue-green algae counts of 52 million cells/ml. The WHO classifies counts above 10 million cells/ml to have a very high probability of adverse health effects in recreational waters. 

In 2014 the Watershed Resources Working Group (WRWG) began monitoring and collecting samples of blue-green algae in response to the persistence of HABs in Ohi:yo'. The WRWG posts warnings for 13 to 15 weeks. 

What do to if You Do Come into Contact?

The World Health Organization (W.H.O) has outlined recommendations in case people or animals are near potentially affected areas with blue-green algal blooms. 

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