Water Safety

Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful algal blooms can occur when microscopic algae grow quickly in water, forming visible patches that can deplete oxygen and block sunlight that other aquatic organisms need to survive.

Not only can harmful algal blooms cause harm to the health of the environment, plants, and animals, but some algae release toxins than endanger public health.

The SEHD Safe Water work group has recognized the need to share the following resources and best practices from ASTHO, other states, and federal agencies.

ASTHO Resources

Communicating the Risks of Harmful Algal Blooms: Case Studies from State Health and Environmental Agencies (2019)
ASTHO and the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) hosted a webinar to showcase state case studies on risk communication for Harmful Algal Blooms.

Harmful Algal Blooms Issue Brief (2015)
This issue brief provides background information on harmful algal blooms (HABs) and contains examples of the environmental impacts, health impacts, monitoring and management capabilities and the economic consequences of HABs on the US economy.

Partner Resources

CDC | Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB)-Associated Illness

Florida | Department of Health
Aquatic Toxins Program

Indiana | Department of Environmental Management
Blue-Green Algae

Kansas | Department of Health and the Environment
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Minnesota | Pollution Control Agency
Blue-green Algae and Harmful Algal Blooms

Wisconsin | Department of Health Services
Blue-Green Algae

Wisconsin | Department of Natural Resources
Blue-Green Algae in Wisconsin Waters