Cyanobacteria Bloom Forces Beach Closure

Sep 25, 2017

Elevated levels of toxin-producing bacteria have closed Burlington's North Beach.

The Burlington Parks and Recreation Department announced the closure Monday afternoon, citing a cyanobacteria bloom.

Cyanobacteria produce a sickening toxin. University of Vermont professor Andrew Schroth says the bacteria thrive in warm still water where phosphorus from runoff is present. Cyanobacteria can pose a threat to humans and marine organisms.

The Burlington Free Press reports most local beaches didn't see blooms this summer. State health authorities say residents should remain cognizant of bacteria levels this week as Vermont sees high temperatures.

Reducing phosphorus flushing from farms, roads and urban areas has proved difficult over the years. According to Republican Governor Phil Scott, a Lake Champlain cleanup could cost over $1 billion.

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