Hear It Straight From Our Scientists on Algae

What’s the story with toxic algae? Algae is the foundation of the ecosystem, a primary producer that utilizes the sun’s energy to build cell material. But, “blue green algae”, or cyanobacteria, are capable of producing a toxin that can cause negative health outcomes in low concentrations. We've seen algae before....but now we have the scientific tools to see differences between ‘algae’ types, measure toxins produced by cyanobacteria, and compare these measurements to criteria for recreational uses. As of the July 16th sampling event, blue green algae have been isolated in just a few surface water samples. However, no samples from the sampling sites have had measurable toxins that exceed EPA’s safety criteria. Sample comparisons have been for recreational assessment only. For further questions about the Louisiana Department of Health’s advisory, please contact them at: (225) 342-9500. And stay tuned to this page for updates!

national coverage

Excerpt from article:

The spillway is expected to close mid-July. Experts believe its closure will prompt the algae bloom to quickly dissipate. "Once they close the structure, conditions will start to change pretty quickly," John Lopez told CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV. Lopez works for Pontchartrain Conservancy, a conservation organization that monitors water conditions throughout the Gulf Coast region.

Local coverage

You can track environmental changes in the Pontchartrain Basin by using our Hydrocoast Maps. The series is updated biweekly and you can receive it via email by signing up here.