Swimmers warned of algae in Bush River

May 29, 2004

BEL AIR - The state departments of Natural Resources and the Environment are advising people to be cautious when swimming in the Bush River in Harford County this holiday weekend because blue-green Microcystis algae blooms have been found there.

The algae blooms, which occur naturally in tidal freshwater portions of Chesapeake Bay estuaries, can use up oxygen, causing fish to suffocate.

The state agencies said affected waters might appear as if a blue-green to yellow-green paint is floating on the surface.

Although state officials say there have been no reported cases of human illness, they encourage people to take precautions - such as not swimming in areas where the algae are evident and not drinking the water - to reduce the risk of illness or discomfort.

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