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WT Staff

Sunday, July 7 2024
Lake Erie HAB reaches extreme concentration near Monroe

July 7, 2024 updated 312 pm EDT

HAB Tracker satellite monitoring program of the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

WT follows the movement and growth of harmful algal blooms (HABs) as provided by the satellite monitoring program of the NCCOS for New York's Lake Champlain, Ohio's Lake Erie and Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain and surrounding area. Interpretation of satellite images is best in clear conditions at wind speed less than 4 mph, where the appearance and extent of HABs is reliably matched to a color scale for concentration. HABs are known to produce algal toxins of concern for raw drinking water sources and recreational water bodies. Plan beach access to avoid HABs and consider carrying a rapid test kit to detect the toxin microcystins.

Ohio: Lake Erie west basin is captured by the NCCOS monitoring satellite, the latest upload taken July 6 at surface wind speed 15 mph. The image is partially cloud obscured, the HAB in North Maumee Bay Michigan shoreline has hit an extreme high concentration along the shore near Monroe 2 million cells per 100 ml. Sandusky Bay HAB appears to have retreated in the inner bay west of OH269, the HAB appears to occupy less surface area here, we cannot make reliable assessments of the extent at wind speed above 4 mph as the HAB mat can be submerged and undetectable by satellite imaging or surface observation. The concentration of the Sandusky bloom is down to 900 thousand cells per 100 ml in this image. Updates are in progress, more to follow. The latest Ohio HAB report is available here.

New York
Lake Champlain's Baie Missisquoi HAB is clearly visible in the latest satellite image from NCCOS dated Friday July 5. The HAB has filled the northeast bay and reached concentration 3 to 4 million cells per 100 ml. Sixty-four HABs are confirmed for interior NYS water bodies on Sunday, up from fifty-five Saturday. Bluegreen tags on the map to the right indicate water bodies with at least one confirmed HAB. A complete list with location descriptions is being updated, the latest complete NYS HAB report is here.

Louisiana: Southeast LA water bodies are captured in a wide angle pass by the Copernicus-Sentinel III satellite, catching Lake Pontchartrain to Black Bay in frame. The latest image was captured July 5 at a surface wind speed 3.8 mph. This latest image is mostly cloud obscured, as was the previous capture uploaded July 4. A clear image obtained July 3 at wind speed 5.8 mph offers a fairly clear view of most southeast LA water bodies. Lake Pontchartrain appears clear of HAB activity another day. The latest HAB report for Louisiana is available here.

See the North American drainage basin map here, scroll all the way down to see how surface water moves across the continent into the Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Arctic Oceans. WT Media Group tells the story of water in three countries, Canada, USA and Mexico. See the drinking water advisories, hazardous spills, floods, drought and harmful algal blooms plotted on the maps, as the water flows. Check out the CrimeBox for historic prosecutions under the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act box for details on public drinking water facilities, interviews with the scientists and tech developers on the leading edge of clean water technology here.

As many drinking water facilities are supplied from surface water reservoirs, the streamflow situation is pertinent to both drinking water supply and quality. High flows can stir up sediment and cause turbidity in the reservoirs, requiring additional treatments to render the water potable. Low flow volume is linked to warmer temperatures in the reservoir and can be an issue for water quality where HABs are present. WT tracks streamflow trends with an eye to the impacts on drinking water supply and quality in each of the state's watersheds. Check the watershed layer on the map to see the direction of flow and streamflows that may be impacting drinking water today.

USGS Provisional Data Statement
Data are provisional and subject to revision until they have been thoroughly reviewed and received final approval. Current condition data relayed by satellite or other telemetry are automatically screened to not display improbable values until they can be verified.
Provisional data may be inaccurate due to instrument malfunctions or physical changes at the measurement site. Subsequent review based on field inspections and measurements may result in significant revisions to the data.
Data users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of the information before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences. Information concerning the accuracy and appropriate uses of these data or concerning other hydrologic data may be obtained from the USGS.

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