World Water Day is March 22 and RISE — Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment — is emphasizing the importance of protecting Earth’s most precious natural resource from toxic threats, including harmful algal blooms. Though algae is part of all food chains, some algal blooms produce toxins that can harm humans, wildlife or other aquatic organisms. Through proactive management, consumers and professionals can help prevent toxic algae from infesting local bodies of water and keep lakes, ponds and reservoirs safe for fishing, water sports and irrigation.
“Water is a critical resource for all living things, making it essential that we build coordinated, forward-thinking management plans for our ecosystems,” RISE president Megan Provost said. “In order to prevent and respond to threats in a targeted way, water managers must have access to a variety of technologies, including algaecides. We urge localities that are enhancing their water management systems to include professional pesticide applicators in conversations. Whether a water body is publicly or privately owned, a certified professional can provide insight on how to properly prevent and treat harmful algal blooms.”
Algae can be transported by people, when moving boats or other equipment from one body of water to another, by animals such as turtles who can transport algae on their shell, by waterfowl like geese and ducks, and even through the air. Ways for consumers to combat harmful algal blooms include:
- Avoid dumping bait buckets in bodies of water
- Wash boats and other fishing equipment before transporting them from one water body to another
- Take steps to prevent geese, ducks and other waterfowl from entering bodies of water
- Decrease the amount of foreign nutrients introduced to waterways, such as leaf and grass clippings as well as excess fertilizer and animal wastes
- Call the local wildlife commission or a certified professional if a local lake, river or beach side exhibits signs of a harmful algal bloom invasion, such as a weird smell, discoloration or dead fish