Pet parents are being warned to avoid the murky waters of Prospect Park Lake. Last week, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation tested and confirmed the widespread presence of toxic blue-green algae in the popular Brooklyn waterbody. Also referred to as cyanobacteria, the algae floats on top of the water like a thin sheen of green scum. Park-goers in the area will want to re-route their recreational activities, and deter pets from swimming in or drinking the water to avoid toxic exposure.
“When enjoying fresh water features in city parks it is important to try to avoid contact with any algae and keep pets on leashes and do not allow them to enter or drink from lakes and ponds unless in areas specifically designated for such activities,” a Parks Department spokeswoman said in an email, as reported by DNAInfo.
Symptoms of harmful algae exposure can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties. Consuming large quantities of the toxic water can also lead to toxic exposure that affects the liver and nervous system.
If you experience any of these symptoms after exposure to an algae bloom, NYSDEC recommends that you seek medical attention immediately and contact the local health department.