NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - A toxic algae called Cyanobacteria has already closed beaches and lakes in New Jersey, and is allegedly responsible for three dog deaths in North Carolina. Now, the algae has been found in the Harlem Meer in Central Park and in Prospect Park, leading health officials to advise New Yorkers to keep their young children and especially any animals away from any water with the algae.
The algae has a blue-green to white coloration, and may appear as scattered green dots in the water. If touched, swallowed or inhaled it can cause humans to break out in a rash and can even lead to digestive problems and flu-like symptoms.
The Department of Environmental Conservation says that state agencies have allocated over $82M in grants to address the polluted water, but those who frequent Central Park told FOX 5 NY that they have not seen the water cleaned in a long time.
So far, there are no reports of any animals being sickened at the Harlem Meer. The Department of Environmental Conservation is encouraging residents to keep an eye out for the algae and report it to authorities if they find it elsewhere.