Registration is now open for this summer's North Fork Conservation Corps at Seven Bends State…
On 07/29/22 Virginia Department of Health(VDH) issued a Algal Mat Alert near Deer Rapids bridge, North Fork Shenandoah River and 2.5 miles above and below site. On 8/5/22, VDH expanded this area to include an 11.5 mile stretch up to the confluence of Cedar Creek with the North Fork, west of Strasburg. Potentially harmful algal cyanobacteria mats were observed and identified as extensive and unavoidable for this area. Algal mats (along the shoreline, along the bottom, or on the surface) have the potential to release toxins when disturbed. Be extra careful to avoid, and to keep children, livestock, and pets away from any mats along the shoreline. These mats, as they start to break down, are more likely to be releasing toxins.
What is an Algal Mat Alert?
VDH issues an Algal Mat Alert when investigations at a site indicate cyanobacteria mats are extensive and potentially unavoidable. Water column sampling is conducted upon the issuance of an alert. If an area is under an alert, these samples are either pending results, or indicate cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in the water column are at safe swimming levels. Recreational water uses may continue as long as contact with algal mats, which may have the potential to produce toxins, can be avoided. VDH will issue a recreational advisory if water column samples are found to contain unsafe levels of cyanobacteria or toxins for swimming. Be sure to steer clear of, and keep children, pets, and livestock away from algal mats. This material, when disturbed or breaking down, has the potential to release toxins that can cause skin reactions upon contact, and if ingested, severe sickness or death in pets and livestock.
Citizen reports are the basis for initial and follow-up water column testing and the issuance of Algal Mat Alerts and Recreational Advisories.