RECORD-SETTING BLUE GREEN ALGAE BLOOMS ACROSS SUFFOLK COUNTY

For the first time in the history of monitoring lakes and pond across Suffolk County, 10 separate water bodies with blue green algae blooms officially listed by the NYSDEC; prior to this no more than seven sites had been listed. Some of the sites have been chronic problems, such as Long Island's largest lake, Lake Ronkonkoma, while other sites were listed in the last week, such as Sagaponack Pond and Little Fresh Pond on the east end emerged in the last week.

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, are of serious concern as they can synthesize potent toxins that can sicken humans and can be lethal to pets and other animals. A child was hospitalized and a dog died following a blue green algae bloom in Minnesota last month and a dog died in East Hampton after consuming blue green algae in 2012. Blue green algal blooms are promoted by heavy loading of nitrogen and phosphorus and high temperatures. Hence, the warm weather forecast for the coming week could intensify these events or see them continue to spread to other water bodies. (Via: 
Long Island Coastal Conservation Research Alliance)

CLEAN WATER VICTORY

The New York State Court of Appeals has declined to review an Appellate Court ruling which determined that the administration of discredited Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy illegally raided $30 Million from the County’s Drinking Water Protection Program to plug holes in the county budget. The Appellate Division, Second Department ruled last November that since the water fund was created by Public Referendum, funds could not be re-directed without another Public Referendum >> http://bit.ly/1O5FXHO

Turtle Die-Off in Flanders Bay

TURTLE DIE-OFF IN FLANDERS BAY: IS PSP TO BLAME?

Hundreds of dead diamondback terrapin turtles have been washing up dead on the shores of far western Flanders Bay since late April. Investigators from Stony Brook University found ~40 more this morning on Iron Point in Flanders. Diamondback terrapin turtles feed on bivalves and Meetinghouse Creek, which is due north of Iron Point, was closed to to high levels of saxitoxin within bivalves 10 days ago due to an ongoing red tide (Alexandrium) bloom. Saxitoxin causes the syndrome, PSP, or paralytic shellfish poisoning, which was originally described for humans, but can afflict other animals. Preliminary evidence indicates there was saxitoxin in the turtles. More detailed, forthcoming tissues analyses will provide further information on this linkage. One thing is clear: eating bivalves with saxitoxin was unlikely to have been good for the turtles.