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Algae Blooms Prompt Advisories for Two Bodies of Water in NH

State officials are warning of potentially dangerous algae blooms at two bodies of water with popular recreation areas.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services on Friday said it detected high concentrations of cyanobacteria — also known as blue-green algae — at Mascoma Lake and Goose Pond. The department is advising visitors to avoid contact with the water and to keep pets away.

Thick green clouds of algae were observed in multiple spots at Mascoma Lake, located in Enfield and Lebanon, while green streaks were seen along the shoreline at Goose Pond, in Canaan and Hanover, according to the agency. Water tests confirmed high levels of cyanobacteria.

Algae blooms occur naturally but can be harmful to humans and animals, the department said.

Scientists believe a combination of factors can trigger large blooms, including warm temperatures, slow water circulation and excessive nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. Some blooms generate toxins such as microcystin, which can cause nausea, fever and liver damage in humans and can kill animals.

The advisories will remain in effect until the department finds that concentrations have subsided.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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