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RIDOH and DEM Recommend Lifting Restrictions for Blue-green Algae in Slack Reservoir, and Sachem and Worden Ponds

RHODE ISLAND, November 19 - The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) recommend lifting the recreational advisories at Slack Reservoir in Smithfield/Johnston, Sachem Pond in New Shoreham (Block Island), and Worden Pond in South Kingstown. The recreational advisories were related to high levels of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.

The surveys conducted at the sites found no evidence of cyanobacteria blooms. Blue-green algae are generally less active as seasonal changes reduce light and temperature. However, the possibility of blooms and/or toxin persisting after the bloom is gone represent potential risks, even in iced-over conditions.

Regardless of season, the public is reminded to avoid contact with any body of water that is bright green or has a dense, floating scum. Blue-green algae blooms may look like green paint or thick pea soup.

For more information and a list of historical advisories, visit www.dem.ri.gov/bluegreen. Send reports of suspected blue-green algae blooms, along with photographs if possible, to DEM.OWRCyano@dem.ri.gov.