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COOK COUNTY CONNECTIONS Rise of Algae Blooms in Cook County

COOK COUNTY CONNECTIONS Rise of Algae Blooms in Cook County

By: Tim Nelson, Land Services Director

COOK COUNTRY, MINNESOTA   August 7, 2021  (LSNews)  There has been an increase of Algae blooms in some of our inland lakes this summer due to the warm weather and water conditions, and the increase in blue-green algae has been particularly noticeable.   With the increase in blooms, there has also been an increase of concerns as to how that might affect our health and safety associated with the use of the lake water. 

At the local level of Government, Cook County is also concerned about the potential adverse impacts that the algae blooms may have on environmental health.  Since we do not have the local expertise regarding the testing and impacts of these algae blooms, we have been consulting with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).  The following are some excerpts from the MPCA web page regarding “Harmful Algae Blooms” or HAB’s:

 

When temperatures climb and the summer sun beats down, conditions are ripe for Minnesota lakes to produce harmful algae blooms, some of which can be harmful to pets and humans.  Blue-green algal blooms are often described as looking like pea soup or spilled green paint. However, blooms aren’t always large and dense and can sometimes cover small portions of the lake with little visible algae present. Blooms can also produce a swampy odor when the cells break down.  Blue-green algae blooms are harmful when they produce toxins that can make humans and animals sick. Most blooms are not harmful.

You can't tell by looking at a bloom if it is harmful or not, but the MPCA suggests performing two simple tests, the “jar test” or the “stick test,” using rubber or latex gloves. To perform the jar test, fill a jar about three-quarters full and screw a lid on, then refrigerate undisturbed overnight. If, the next morning, the algae have settled near the bottom, it’s likely the lake does not have a lot of blue-green algae. If the algae have formed a green ring at the top of the water, there is a strong possibility the lake does have a blue-green algae community. For more detailed directions, and to learn about the “stick test,” see https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/wq-swm1-04.pdf

 Algae that settles near the bottom of the jar, after being refrigerated overnight, means it is unlikely the lake has a blue-green algae community (left), but if it settles near the top (right), there is a strong possibility a blue-green algae community is present

Photo credit to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

 

What are the possible health effects?

You can become sick if you swallow, have skin contact with, or breathe in airborne water droplets while swimming, boating, waterskiing, tubing, bathing, or showering in water that has harmful algae or if you drink water that contains algal toxins. If you become sick, you might experience vomiting, diarrhea, rash, eye irritation, cough, sore throat, and headache. Symptoms generally begin hours to two days after exposure. 

How can I reduce my risks from harmful algae blooms?

Avoid or minimize recreating in waters that appear to have a blue-green algae bloom; if you do come in contact with algae-laden water, wash with fresh water afterwards.  Avoid using untreated lake or river water for drinking, cooking, and brushing teeth, especially for infants and small children. Boiling water will not destroy algae toxins and could actually increase toxin levels. Simple treatment options are also not effective; multiple treatment steps are typically needed to remove algae toxins.

Water that may be contaminated can be used for handwashing, bathing, washing dishes, or laundry, though it may irritate skin. Young children should be supervised when swimming to prevent them from swallowing water and should be rinsed with uncontaminated water afterwards. Items that go into the mouths of infants and young children (i.e., teething rings, nipples, bottles, toys, dishes and silverware) should be rinsed with uncontaminated water if they are washed in contaminated water.

For further information, please contact either the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-4906, or the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency at 800-657-3864, or visit their website at: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/blue-green-algae-and-harmful-algal-blooms

By: Tim Nelson, Land Services Director

County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service.

#LSN_News #LSN_MNNews #LSN_CookCounty 


About Cook County Minnesota 

Cook County Coronavirus Response Hub

Cook Country Minnesota Lake Superior News

Cook County is at the tip of Minnesota's Arrowhead region in the remote northeastern part of the state, stretching from the shores of Lake Superior to the US-Canada border. By land it borders Ontario, Canada to the north, and Lake County, MN to the west.  The highest point in Minnesota, Eagle Mountain is 2,301 feet and the highest lake,  Total Area equals 3,339.72 sq miles

Cook County is home to three national protected areas:
Grand Portage National Monument
Superior National Forest
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Cook County include:
 Grand Marais     Lutsen Mountains
 Gunflint Trail      Superior Hiking Trail
 Grand Portage 


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Norm Foster’s LUNENBURG

Romantic Comedy Next Up at Magnus Theatre

Robert McKenzie 0 479 Article rating: No rating

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  October 14, 2021  (LSNews)  This autumn, Magnus Theatre invites audiences to a summer weekend on the coast in Norm Foster’s LUNENBURG. This charming romantic comedy marks the fourteenth of Foster’s works produced at Magnus Theatre since the world premiere of BRAVADO in 1988.
 

#LSN_Arts  #LSNews_TBay 

Thunder Bay Venue the Apollo Facing Eviction

now is the time to stand up and fight for them 

Robert McKenzie 0 1232 Article rating: 5.0

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~  October 8, 20212 (LSNews)  The Apollo, a long-running venue in Thunder Bay, ON, is facing imminent closure and is seeking to raise money to save the space.

The campaign notes that the owners, mother Constantina Stathopoulos and daughter Sheila Stathopoulos, were victims of fraud in the 2000s. The two have also faced medical struggles: Sheila had stage 3 ovarian cancer and experiences daily chemotherapy fatigue, while Constantina has Alzheimer's.

#LSNews_TBay  #LSN_Econ #LSN_Arts 

Lake Superior below the seasonal long-term average first time since April 2014

Lake Michigan-Huron water levels have declined significantly

Robert McKenzie 0 1674 Article rating: No rating

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~  October 5, 2021 (LSNews)  Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron have both continued their seasonal declines in September. As a result of the drier than average conditions, water levels on Lake Superior have gone below the seasonal long-term average for the first time since April 2014. Lake Michigan-Huron water levels have declined significantly from the record-high levels observed in recent years, but water levels remain above the seasonal long-term average. Lake Superior outflows continue to be set in consideration of water levels upstream and downstream.

#LSN_Shipping  #LSN_ONNews #LSN_MMNews  #LSN_WiscNews #LSN_MiNews 

Wisconsin Gems For Fall Colors

Make Your Plans Today – Some Areas At Or Near Peak Colors

Robert McKenzie 0 1588 Article rating: No rating

NORTHERN, WISCONSIN  ~~  October 3, 2021  (LSNews)  Wisconsin is home to many scenic landscapes that showcase the delightful colors of nature in autumn. We're starting to see the leaves change colors, with some parts of the state already at or nearing peak colors.

#LSN_Outdoors  #LSN_WiscNews 

CBP Nets Nearly $230k in Undeclared Currency at Ambassador Bridge

Detroit, Michigan, United States, with Windsor, Ontario, Canada

James Brown 0 1627 Article rating: No rating

DETROIT, MICHIGAN   ~  September 29, 2021  (LSNews) Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations seized $200,000 in undeclared U.S. currency at the Canadian border early Tuesday morning.

The cash was discovered by officers during a series of outbound commercial vehicle inspections near the Ambassador Bridge port of entry. at Detroit, Michigan, United States, with Windsor, Ontario, Canada bridge

#LSN_PublicSafety  #LSN_HomelandSecurity 

TBSO Linda Penner wins Orchestras Canada’s 2021 Betty Webster Award

Robert McKenzie 0 1781 Article rating: No rating

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO   ~~   September 29, 2021  (LSNews)  Linda Penner is the winner of the Orchestras Canada Betty Webster Award for 2021.

Linda Penner was nominated by the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. The award announcement, delivered by video, celebrates her long-time contributions to the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, the communities it serves, and the role she has played in sustaining the spirit and resilience of its musicians, staff, and volunteers.

#LSN_Arts  #LSNews_Tbay

Beacons of Hope exhibition opening at Concordia University-St. Paul

Solo exhibition by Anne Labovitz

Robert McKenzie 0 4571 Article rating: No rating

NORTHERN, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~~  September 16, 2021  (LSNews)  I am pleased to announce the opening of my latest exhibition, Beacons of Hope curated by Dr. Megan Arney Johnston at Concordia University-St. Paul.  The site-specific works center on the conceptual and gestural elements of hope.
 

Beacons of Hope opens Thursday, September 16th from 5-7pm with an artist talk at 5:30.  Please join me.  If you're unable to attend, the artist talk will be recorded and shared at a later date, and the works will be on view through October 13th.
 

#LSN_Art  #LSN_MNNews 

Lake Superior water levels have declined and have reached the seasonal long-term average

for the first time since April 2014

Robert McKenzie 0 3858 Article rating: 4.0

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~~  September 13, 2021 (LSNews)   As a result of the drier than average weather and water supply conditions, Lake Superior water levels have declined and have reached the seasonal long-term average for the first time since April 2014. Conditions have been wetter in the Lake Michigan-Huron basin and water levels are midway between the seasonal long-term average and the record high water levels that were observed last year. Lake Superior outflows continue to be set in consideration of water levels upstream and downstream.

#LSN_Shipping #LSN_MNNews #LSN_WiscNews #LSN_CircleTour 

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