Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Severe erosion at Cliff Pond--one cause of the algae blooms

At 90 feet, Cliff Pond is the deepest pond on Cape Cod. It's located in Nickerson State Park, and is a popular for swimming and boating.

But starting a 1998, toxic algae blooms there became a problem, resulting in the death of at least two dogs* that had been swimming in the pond.

Closures of the pond to swimming have increased in recent years.  Last year, park officials closed the pond for a total of 99 days.  This summer, the pond was closed from June 25 to July 9.

The reason was high levels of blue-green algae.

The microscopic plant is present all the time,** but the timing of "blooms," when it multiplies out of control, is unpredictable.  Not all blooms result in dangerous toxins.  How the weather leads to a toxic bloom isn't well understood.  Experts expect more and more blooms as the climate warms.