The goal of this campaign is to achieve improved signage for bodies of water that are experiencing a blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms.

Launch Date: May 2017

Status: ongoing

The Eastern Long Island Chapter samples local waterways for bacteria that can be harmful to humans. Although the Blue Water Task Force does not sample for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), the chapter is aware of the dangers and health implications of coming into contact with a body of water with a bloom. Water sampling volunteers keep an eye on the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)’s Harmful Algal Blooms Notifications Page to know which of our favorite beaches are experiencing a blue-green algae bloom.

Our water quality samplers noticed inconsistencies with the signs that were being posted at beaches while water bodies were experiencing blooms.

The signs tended to be misleading (saying “no swimming-deep water”), or are located in the parking lot, nowhere near the access point. The chapter is working with the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health to improve signage located at beaches to properly warn beachgoers about the dangers of coming into contact with a blue-green algae blooms. We are asking that the signs be easy to understand, include icons that can be interpreted by non-native English speakers, and be located at the point of access.

Learn more about cyanobacteria here.