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Algae advisory keeps many away from Maumee Bay State Park

  • Maumee-Bay

    The warning about possibly toxic algae returned to Maumee Bay State Park over the weekend.

    THE BLADE
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  • swimmers07p

    Maumee Bay State Park is under a public health advisory due to high levels of microcystin found in Lake Erie, along with high levels of E. coli bacteria.

    The Blade/Katie Rausch
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  • algae-16917566-jpg

    The warning about possibly toxic algae returned to Maumee Bay State Park over the weekend.

    THE BLADE/LISA DUTTON
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swimmers07p

Maumee Bay State Park is under a public health advisory due to high levels of microcystin found in Lake Erie, along with high levels of E. coli bacteria.

The Blade/Katie Rausch
Enlarge | Buy This Image

The beaches at Maumee Bay State Park were unusually empty Sunday, and it might not be just the unseasonally cool temperatures keeping swimmers away.

The Lake Erie beach is under a public health advisory because of high levels of microcystin found in Lake Erie, along with high levels of E. coli bacteria.

This advisory has no effect on Toledo drinking water, which remains clear, according to the Toledo Water Quality dashboard.

Some combination of the weather and the algae, which turned parts of the tide a distinct shade of green, kept the Labor Day crowds off the beaches.

“This is dead,” Mary Goldstein said from the beach. “The beach is usually so crowded.”

Ms. Goldstein was staying at the Maumee Bay Lodge, which she said was sold out. She and her son are regular visitors of the beach, and she will be coming back in the future, even though she was disappointed algae and bacteria kept her far from the shore.

“Even though we can’t go in the water, we can still make sand castles,” she said.

Mike Slates was also staying with his family at the lodge, and the algae did not affect his stroll along the shore.

“We just came over here to walk and see the stuff on the beach,” Mr. Slates said.

The general news of harmful algae blooms on the lake, which have been a regular occurrence, were enough to dissuade him from doing much swimming anyway, Mr. Slates added.

The advisory means all contact with Lake Erie water at the beach should be avoided. The advisory is issued when at least 20 parts per billion of microcystin are detected in the water. Testing completed Aug. 28 found more than 25 parts per billion of the toxin in the lake.

That is the highest reported amount of the toxin this year.

Since the algae testing Aug. 28, Toledo’s tap-water testing has continued to show no microcystin in the tap water, and below the 5 parts per billion in the raw-lake water intake that would have triggered a change to “watch” on the water quality dashboard.

No algae testing has been done since Aug. 28, although some E. coli testing was done Saturday by University of Toledo researchers, which found bacteria levels at their highest levels this year.

Contact Zack Lemon at zlemon@theblade.com419-724-6282 or on Twitter @zack_lemon.

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