Algal blooms have become more noticeable in Ohio’s lakes, streams and rivers during the last few years. Although most blooms are green algae and not harmful, there are some that are actually a type of cyanobacteria that have the ability to produce toxins – called Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).
Because not everything is known about when toxins are produced and released, we have created a new tiered advisory system for Ohio’s beaches. More information is available in the Harmful Algal Blooms BE AWARE brochure.
The new advisory for state park beaches has two levels:
- Recreational Public Health Advisory
- No Contact Advisory
Be alert for local beach advisories and changing water conditions. Here are a few common sense things you can do to keep your family and pets safe this summer while enjoying Ohio’s waterways:
- Before you go to a state park beach, check the state’s website www.ohioalgaeinfo.com to see if there is a HAB advisory.
- If you’re at a beach and you see surface scum or something that looks like blue-green algae, report it to Ohio EPA by completing the Bloom Report Form (click here for a fillable form) and emailing it to HABmailbox@epa.ohio.gov.
- Be alert and avoid unusual water conditions, especially areas where there is floating scum or the water is generally discolored. Use common sense – When in doubt, stay out!
- Immediately rinse family members, pets and yourself after swimming in natural waters. HABs cannot always be seen, smelled or tasted.
- Ingesting any source of untreated water is unsafe, so never allow your family members or pets to drink lake or river water.
Remember, you can still boat, fish and recreate in Ohio’s lakes, streams and rivers. Just be aware that HABs exist. We hope this website will give you a better idea of what HABs can look like and provide you with the information you need to safely enjoy the waterways of Ohio.