Cyanobacteria shuts down three Burlington beaches

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Burlington Parks & Recreation have shut down at least three beaches due to the presence of a dangerous bacteria.

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue green algae, thrives in shallow, still waters when the weather gets particulary. Scientists have observed the thick blue or green film in Colchester Saint Albans, Highgate, Cavendish, and Georgia.

Officials initially thought things looked good for swimming Friday. But after a sighting at North Beach — the first of the season in Burlington — they changed that assessment.   

At about 12:30 p.m., parks officials announced that Leddy, North and Texaco beaches were all closed, and that Oakledge Beach was being tested.

Experts say cynobacteria is naturally occurring, but should be approached with caution. Lori Fisher, the executive director of the Lake Champlain Coalition, said it contains dangerous toxins.

“You don’t want to touch it,” she said. “Cyanobacteria can give off cyanotoxins, and the two that we see most frequently on Lake Champlain are liver toxins microsystem, that effect the liver, and neurotoxins that effect the nervous system.”

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