Blue-green algae blooms blamed for 8 Putnam County beach closuresPosted: Updated:
Beaches throughout Putnam County have been forced to close recently due to toxic levels of blue-green algae blooms.
The harmful algae blooms also known as HAB arrived early for the second consecutive year in Putnam. County officials have been forced to close eight beaches.
The blooms are caused by a microscopic organism that produces toxins harmful to humans and small animals.
"Blue-green algae has been around for three or four years, but it's really starting to raise its ugly head right now, and it's really starting to impact our lakes," says Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, there are a total of five bodies of water in Westchester, Orange, Putnam and Rockland with either suspicious or confirmed HABs. That's prompted the state to allocate money to find a solution to the growing problem.
Three lakes across the state, including three in Putnam County, have been chosen as part of a study so the state can explore treatment options and storm water improvements.