Health advisory lifted for Ross Island Lagoon and Holgate Channel
Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has lifted the recreational use health advisory issued for Ross Island Lagoon and the Holgate Channel in the Willamette River in Portland. These waters are in Multnomah County.
OHA issued the advisory on August 31, and it was announced on THE BEE's websites all September.
Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins in Ross Island Lagoon and the Holgate Channel are below recreational guideline values for people. However, levels detected are still above OHA's educational guideline values for dogs, and owners should still keep their pets away from these areas.
OHA advises recreational visitors to continually be alert to signs of cyanobacteria blooms. This is because blooms can develop and disappear on any water body at any time when bloom conditions are favorable. Be aware that only a fraction of waterbodies in Oregon are monitored for blooms and toxins, so it's important for people to become familiar with signs of a bloom, exposures and symptoms by visiting OHA's Cyanobacteria Harmful Algae Bloom website at www.healthoregon.org/hab
When recreating, people and especially small children and pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green or blue-green, or whenever thick brownish-red mats are visible, or bright green clumps are suspended in the water. If you see these signs, avoid any activities that could cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities -- and keep pets out of the area.
Cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. When a bloom dies, toxins released may still reach into clear water around the bloom. Blooms can be pushed into other areas, leaving behind the toxins released. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water. So continue to be watchful.
For health information or to report an illness, contact OHA at 971/673-0482.
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