In February I posted a story about a UGA project to track harmful algal blooms in Southeastern lakes (link). Now that we are entering the heart of the boating and outdoor recreation season, I think it is worth repeating. Scientists at UGA are collecting reports of toxic algae in lakes at http://www.cyanotracker.uga.edu. You can go to the site to watch a 3-minute video about the project and find a link to report your observations. Cyanobacteria can cause irritation to human and animal skin and can produce toxins which can sicken wildlife and livestock.
Since El Nino is associated with summer heat spells, we may see an increased chance of toxic algae in our lakes and ponds this summer, although plentiful rainfall may reduce this risk. In the future, trends towards warmer temperature could mean an increase in the occurrence of these blooms according to a story at EarthGauge.net.