Certain environmental conditions, such as elevated levels of nutrients from human activities, warmer temperatures, still water, and plentiful sunlight can promote the growth of cyanobacteria. Photo via Christian Fischer/Creative Commons

It’s not even June, but the state Department of Environmental Conservation has already confirmed blue-green algae blooms in eight water bodies across New York. These blooms can produce toxins harmful to both people and animals, and any contact with affected water bodies should be avoided.

Most of the blooms are on Long Island and in New York City, typical for this early in the season. More blooms are expected across the state as temperatures rise.

Blue-green algae thrive in hot, sunny, dry conditions, and they feed on phosphorous and nitrogen in the lakes. Those elements can come from farms, septic tanks, lawn fertilizers and natural sources.

See the current list of Harmful Algal Blooms here.

Source: New York Upstate