Toxic algae is in more than 40 California lakes, waterways

Toxic algae has shown up in more than 40 state lakes and waterways from Los Angeles to the northern reaches of California, the highest count in state history.

The East Bay Times reports Sunday ( that water agencies have been caught off guard by the growing extent of the algae, which is triggering health warnings, the closing of swim areas and a reduction in park visitors and revenues.

The cyanobacterium has blossomed during the state's drought. It occurs naturally and can cause gastrointestinal problems and allergic reactions in people, and sickness and death among pets and wildlife.

The microbes are causing more trouble because nutrients that built up during the drought were washed off hills during this year's rains.

Officials say there is no quick solution to the problem, and the best thing to do is to stay out of the water until the bloom is over.


Information from: The East Bay Times,