NHDES Releases Comprehensive Cyanobacteria Plan To Protect Our Lakes
After House Bill 1066 passed in 2022, the Cyanobacteria Advisory Committee was formed and included NH LAKES President Andrea LaMoreaux. With the committee’s guidance, this past November, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) released the plan to fight cyanobacteria blooms in our beloved lakes and ponds.
What We Know
This past year was the fourth year in a row our lakes set a record for toxic cyanobacteria blooms. Climate change and polluted runoff from rain events and flooding contribute to these blooms. But, we can take steps to minimize their frequency, severity, and duration. Reducing polluted runoff water combined with education and outreach efforts are the best opportunities to reduce the risks and impacts of cyanobacteria blooms.
The Plan: Unveiled
The state’s plan identifies four strategies for managing the increasing threat of toxic cyanobacteria blooms and makes the following recommendations:
Reducing Polluted Runoff:
*Updating policies and practices to reduce, control, and prevent polluted runoff water that fuels cyanobacteria blooms
*Improving roadway maintenance and septic system management
*Increase participation and funding for watershed and in-lake management efforts to diagnose the cause of blooms and implement actions to prevent them
Education and Outreach:
*Expanding efforts to educate the public about cyanobacteria risks, including signage, videos, materials, and public announcements
*Improve NHDES online resources for advisories and alerts
*Increase in sampling efforts to identify blooms and toxicity levels
*New training for volunteer monitoring organizations and citizen scientists
*Development of better bloom notification tools
Drinking Water Safety:
*Develop policies and procedures to prevent, detect, and respond to blooms in public drinking water supplies
Take Bold Action For Our Lakes
You can help make sure this plan is properly funded, and recommendations requiring approval by the New Hampshire Legislature are passed. Learn how to take action by signing up to receive our Advocacy Alert emails here.