Three Minneapolis lakes are confirmed to have blue-green algae, which can be harmful to humans and pets.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) reported a likely harmful algae bloom on Cedar Lake on May 15. It has since confirmed blue-green algae at Lake Nokomis and Lake of the Isles, according to a May 22 news release.
The MPRB advises people and pets to stay out of the water when these blooms are visible – it turns the lake water into a murky brown color, as it has on these lakes.
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, blue-green algae is not actually algae but a kind of bacteria. Contact with it can cause sickness including vomiting, diarrhea, rash, eye irritation, cough, sore throat and headache.
The park board advises people to avoid swimming in lakes if they cannot see their feet in knee-high water. The algae can also be harmful to dogs, so owners should prevent dogs from drinking lake water.
The algae blooms often occur in warm, shallow lakes. According to MPCA, algae blooms are a natural part of lake ecosystems. But they can be made less frequent by preventing nutrients, like fertilizer, from getting into lakes.
Minneapolis beaches are closed this summer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.