Algae

I remember the first time I experienced a significant algae bloom on the bay. I was walking on the shoreline near our small community water system. I saw what looked like lime-green latex paint collected in globules along the shore. When I felt the globs, they had an oily feel and consistency, also like paint. I thought a spill had occurred and called the stateís Hazardous Waste Department, which knew nothing about a spill and even less about algae. Later that day they called to confirm that this was algae, and quite common at that. Well, I donít know how common it is but in my mind it was bad looking stuff.

This collection documents the severe algae bloom in Missisquoi Bay in 2004. In particular, these pictures were taken from the causeway in the course of monitoring  turtles. Some of these photos were used in legislative testimony by lake activists working to remove the causeway and to accelerate the clean up of the bay and inland sea.

The bloom of 2004 was one of the earliest to arrive and latest to leave. Truly, our bay (and southern parts of Lake Champlain) became a Sea of Green. No definitive scientific explanation has yet been established for why these toxic blooms happen. When they do happen, stay out of the water and keep your pets out; some of these algae species kill as surely as the Creature from the Black Lagoon!

Sea of Green-small

If you would like to participate in a Forum discussion on issues affecting clean up of Missisquoi Bay and the Inland Sea, click here or, to see prior comments, click here (both of these links will spawn a pop-up window.

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Page last updated 9/18/2005