Water, Earth, Sky

Scott Shenk writes about the environment.

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Harmful algae bloom reported in Aquia Creek

The Stafford office of the Virginia Department of Health is advising people to  avoid going in affected water on Aquia Creek, where a potentially harmful algae bloom has been found.  Signs are being posted at Aquia Landing; marinas on the creek are also getting the word out to boaters. The blue-green algae species, Microcystis aeruginos, are capable of producing toxins known as microcystins, which can be toxic  to  animals and humans. Anyone coming in contact with the water may experience skin or respiratory irritation . If water is ingested, abdominal pain, jaundice, malaise, and/or vomiting may occur. Algae blooms are not uncommon along the Potomac River and its tributaries during especially hot summer days. Harmful varieties are monitored by the Health Department and Department of Environmental Quality. See tomorrow’s paper for more details.