Blue-Green Algae – Get to Know its True Colours

The article below was published by The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit: 

GET TO KNOW ITS TRUE COLOURS
– Season For Blue-Green Algae Arrives, Bringing Reminder to Beware – and Be Aware – of Potential Risks to Public Health –

People who swim, drink and use water from area lakes are being reminded to be on the lookout for blue-green algae (BGA), and to change their habits accordingly if they detect it.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is encouraging residents, cottagers and visitors who use area lakes and waterways to educate themselves about BGA to reduce their potential health risk. In the past few summers, BGA has surfaced in local lakes, particularly in shallow, still water and during extremely warm temperatures.

“Reports of blue-green algae in our region have been more common in the summer months, so it is important to beware of the risks associated with BGA and be aware of what to look for in the water,” says Richard Ovcharovich, Manager of Environmental Health with the HKPR District Health Unit.

BGA, also known as cyanobacteria, are primitive microscopic organisms that occur naturally in lakes, bays and inlets around the world. Normally, the algae are barely visible, but during warm weather the algae can rapidly increase in shallow, still waters to form a large mass called a bloom. Dense blue-green algae blooms can make the water look like a bluish-green pea soup, or a shiny paint slick. Most algae blooms are short-lived and will break down in a few days or weeks.

While many forms of blue-green algae are harmless, some forms produce toxins that can be harmful to humans and animals. This means that any exposure to the water, be it drinking, swimming, bathing, cooking or washing, can lead to health problems. The extent of how sick people can get depends on the type of BGA and how long they are exposed to the toxins, Ovcharovich says.

“If you see or detect serious signs of blue-green algae in a lake or local waterway, avoid using the water at all costs,” he says. “Boiling the water won’t help either, as this kills the algae resulting in the release of more toxins into the water.”

The Health Unit is helping raise awareness about BGA through an information campaign called Blue-Green Algae: Get to Know Its True Colours. The goal is to help people who use area lakes recognize BGA and take appropriate precautions.

City of Kawartha Lakes Secondary Plan

At our AGM, Lance Sherk, Director of Economic Development,  talked about the Secondary Plan that was being developed for the City of Kawartha Lakes.

7 Policy Papers have been developed so far in the process:

Below is the announcement the CoKL made about the Secondary Plan process:

City of Kawartha Lakes Community Based
Secondary Plans for Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Lindsay, Omemee and Woodville
Notice of Project Launch

The City of Kawartha Lakes is studying the long-term growth and development of five settlement areas: Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Lindsay, Omemee and Woodville. The study and resulting Secondary Plans are being undertaken in accordance with the Planning Act of Ontario.

The City of Kawartha Lakes continues to experience significant growth in year-round and seasonal population. The City wishes to ensure that continued growth in the five settlement areas is managed in a sustainable way that recognizes the integrity and unique aspects of each community. The Community Based approach will involve stakeholders and explore visions and options for future development.

Public and agency comments will be incorporated into the study and resulting Secondary Plans. There will be numerous opportunities for public involvement which will be advertised in the future.

In the interim, further information can be found at www.city.kawarthalakes.on.ca or contact Michael Benner at [email protected], 705-324-9411 x1330 or Paddy Kennedy at [email protected], 416-229-4647 x2394.

Michael Benner, MCIP RPP
Manager of Policy Planning
Development Services – Planning Services
City of Kawartha Lakes
180 Kent St. W., Lindsay ON K9V 2Y6

More information can be found at:  http://www.city.kawarthalakes.on.ca/residents/planning-building/secondary-plans

As more public hearings are scheduled, we will try to notify people about it.

Environment Meeting

This is the fourth annual Environment Meeting. This year’s event presents 6 invited speakers and there’s something for everyone. These issues affect us all in many ways
At this meeting the following topics will be discussed:
  • Preserving Natural and Cultural Heritage in the Kawarthas – Mike Hendren
  • Lake Management Planning; Your Shoreline as Natural Heritage
  • The Future of Our Waterways
  • Lindsay-Ops Landfill Public Review Committee Update
  • Integrated Community Sustainability Plan for the CoKL

Rick McGee, Mayor of CoKL will also be attending this meeting.

This is an excellent opportunity to hear about what’s going on in our area and what’s being done about it. There will be refreshments served afterwards. Please join us.

Blue Canoe visiting Sturgeon Point Wednesday and Thursday this week!

Kawartha Conservation’s Blue Canoe program technicians will be visiting shoreline properties in Sturgeon Point on August 8th and 9th. This program brings you personalized tips and advice that will help you improve and protect your lake and property. Blue Canoe representatives will also be presenting a “Dock Talk” at the Upper Wharf on August 18th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

You can find more information about this program at the Blue Canoe website. You can also contact the Blue Canoe program office at the following contact numbers:

Phone: 705-328-2271 ext 228
Email: [email protected]