Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) are photosynthetic bacterial organisms, naturally found in many types of water systems including lakes, rivers and wetlands. Under the right conditions, they can increase in numbers quickly to form a bloom. Blooms can range in colour from dark green to yellowish brown. Some blue-green algae species can produce toxins (microcystins), which can impact the health of humans and animals.
In previous years blue-green algae blooms have been seen in some New Brunswick lakes. Since some blooms can produce toxins that are harmful to humans, public health advisories may be issued. Advisories help to inform local recreational water users, so that they can make informed decisions on water use in the affected area. They also serve to remind users to check the water for the formation of highly visible blooms and scum, which pose the most risk. Since conditions may change in a matter of hours, it is important to be aware of local water conditions. Individuals should avoid swimming and any other recreational water-related activities in areas with blue-green algae blooms.