Chautauqua Lake Beach Closings - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Chautauqua Lake Beach Closings

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Several beaches on Chautauqua Lake have been closed to swimming because of blue-green algae. It can release toxins that are dangerous to humans and animals.

 One trouble spot is Chautauqua Institution. Both the popular Children's Beach and Pier Beach, located near the landmark Miller Belltower are now closed to swimming. A bloom, resembling pea soup is clearly visible in the shallow water which would normally be crowded with swimmers on a sunny, hot August day.

 The Chautuaqua County Health Department is testing the water at all the beaches around the lake on a daily basis. The closed beaches won't re-open until tests show the water is safe.

 Experts say warmer than usual temperatures this summer have provided ideal conditions for the algae blooms to spread. If ingested in large quantities, the algae can be toxic. But even just coming in contact with the algae can cause health problems.

Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler said, "For swimmers in this sort of water, you are looking at mainly skin irritations, possible respiratory problems like coughing and sneezing that goes with it."

 Now beaches in both Mayville and Lakewood were also closed in recent days because of algae blooms. And it has been a problem at the marina at Long Point State Park.

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