Blue-green algae leads to beach closures in Burlington

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Cyanobacteria has caused some beaches to close down in the Burlington. Right now, Blanchard Beach at Oakledge Park is closed, but the conditions change daily.

“It’s not uncommon unfortunately to be getting blooms at this time of the year when the water’s warmed up,” said Lori Fisher, executive director of the Lake Champlain Committee.
She says the recent rainfall has also been a driver for cyanobacteria blooms.

As waterfront superintendent, Erin Moreau takes daily water samples at each of the city beaches.

“On any given summer day we’re monitoring the all the beaches frequently, anyway, every day we have to be vigilant. “

While it takes time to get results back, which determine if they’re toxic, the beaches will shut down at any sight of the blue green algae

Whether the test comes back if the test has toxicity or not, we want to be careful so if we see a visual, we close out of an abundance of caution,” Moreau said.

And Fisher says that’s for the best because blooms that are toxic can cause serious health problems epecially in children and dogs.

“We don’t know what causes them to turn on that switch but the toxins they produce are liver toxins, neuro toxins, or skin toxins which can cause pronounce health effects so you really want to avoid them.”

There’s signage at all of Burlington’s beaches which indicate if the water is safe for swimming.

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