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Could it be safe to swim in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Bay with the algal bloom?

You might have heard right now an algal bloom is overtaking SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Bay and thousands of dead fish are washing through to beaches and around Lake Merritt. The murky soup that is the reddish, brownish color of root beer formed just because a kind of algae called Heterosigma akashiwo keeps growing uncontrollable. It’s on the list of forms of algae that may cause red tides.

It’s clearly bad for the fish, but think about humans? Could it be safe to swim in the bay that could offer a spot to cool off through the upcoming heat wave?

State and local health officials are advising that humans avoid swimming in the bay should they can easily see algal bloom in the water. As the algae isn’t toxic to humans, it might cause skin or eye irritation, said Eileen White, a spokesperson for the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, one of the government agencies monitoring the bloom.

“We’re recommending that folks stay from the water out of a good amount of caution,” White said.

Blobs of the bloom are spread through the entire bay, and they are growing and in addition active with the winds and tides.

“Whether it’s there, the water is really a reddish-brownish color,” said White. “It is possible to tell by the appearance of the water. It’s pretty obvious. If the water doesn’t look good, don’t swim inside it. If there is no algal bloom, then it’s OK.”

White also advised owners to help keep dogs from the bay in areas where in fact the bloom exists. She said boating on the bay is perfectly safe, and on Wednesday morning, she saw crew boats on Lake Merritt.

Aquatic Park in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA is really a popular spot for bay swimming, and White said she cannot confirm if the bloom was of this type. Several swimmers with the Dolphin Club said they will have seen the bloom come and click here.

“I swim three or four 4 mornings weekly for forty minutes in the cove at Aquatic Park,” Joe Illick, a Dolphin Club member, told SFGATE within an email. “In the past fourteen days my eyes have already been watering and I talk about more mucus than usual. Nothing deeply disturbing. I thought it may be my age (87) but needless to say it could be the water.”

The bloom has been seen in waterfronts in Alameda County, including locations such as for example Lake Merritt, Alameda Grand Marina and Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, the county’s health department said. The county said it really is posting signs at popular swimming locations saying that it’s strongly suggested people and their pets steer clear of the water before blooms dissipate.

“Connection with the algae blooms could cause skin irritation and burning eyes to humans and may cause more threatening effects to dogs,” the Alameda County Public Health Department said in a statement.

Alameda, the Oakland Inner Harbor and Lake Merritt will be the first locations where researchers identified the bloom, White said. The algae continued to proliferate and by mid-August, it had pushed into waters near Richmond and Belvedere to the north, and San Mateo and Foster City over the bay. It has since consumed the southern portion of the bay crept in to the central portion.

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