Posted by: Vicki Burns | March 16, 2012

Algae Blooms and Public Health – Connections Are Being Made

This article from an American newspaper in Massachusetts caught my attention yesterday because of the mention of the State Department of Public Health. I’m always on the lookout for information from other parts of the world that may have some relevance to our situation in Manitoba in relation to the deteriorating state of Lake Winnipeg. I think it is reasonable to be concerned that what is being said elsewhere about blue-green algae blooms may have implications for Lake Winnipeg.

map of Eastern United States

The State Department of Health is taking a proactive and public role in the situation in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. It seems to me that the public will be more likely to take notice of an issue if they can make the connection that it might have an impact on their health. Even though the Health Department is playing an important role in the Plymouth County blue-green algae challenge , citizens there understand that its going to take involvement from many different fronts to solve this problem. Its encouraging to see their action in creating a watershed committee and getting the public involved.

In Manitoba we have a good start on getting people in rural areas involved in watershed planning through their local Conservation Districts, but the majority of our population live in Winnipeg and have no understanding of their role in these water issues. It’s a challenge that we need to address in order to really get going on doing a better job of protecting our waters.

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