Municipal Affairs and Environment

Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria)

Blue-Green Algae (BGA) is the common name for photosynthesizing bacteria, also known as ‘cyanobacteria’. They live in a variety of habitats but are commonly found in warm, shallow, slow-moving freshwater. Blue-green algae are found throughout the water column, but are most noticeable when they float to the surface, creating a ‘bloom’. Some species of blue-green algae produce toxins that can potentially impact humans, animals and aquatic life. Research into blue-green algae species and their potential effects on water quality are ongoing throughout Canada.

Typically, in Canada, blue-green algae blooms appear in the hot summer months and are quite prevalent in the prairies. The first blue-green algae bloom documented in Newfoundland and Labrador by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment occurred in 2007. Monitoring of potentially affected water bodies continues as reports of possible blooms are received by the Department.

For general information on blue-green algae, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.

More information on blue-green algae monitoring in Newfoundland and Labrador can be found below:

Health Canada provides information on blue-green algae at the links below:

More information on other 'Weird Things' found in the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador can be found here.

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