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Algae are a natural and critical part of our chesapeake and Coastal Bays ecosystmes. Algae, ike land plants, capture the sun's energy and forms the fundation of the food web that supports fish and shellfish.


Algae & Drinking Water

HAB surveillance for Water System Operators.pdfHAB surveillance for Water System Operators.pdf

Water Treatment Plant

EPA: Information for Drinking Water Systems

Algae blooms can be toxic, keep people and pets away from water that is green, scummy or smells bad.




Algae may become harmful iif they occur in an unaturally high abundance or if they produce a toxin. a high abundance of algae can block sunlight to undrwater bay grasses, consume oxygen in the waterleading to fish kills, produce surface scum and odors, and interfere with the feeding of shellfish and other organisms that filter water to obtain their food.  Some algal species can also produe chemicals that are toxic to humans and aquatic life.


In the News

Study shows algal-blooms in Chesapeake more frequent  2015

Maryland's Working Waterfront Initiative July 15, 2015

Biotransport of Algal Toxins to Riparian Food Webs​

Report algae blooms directly by calling either the MDE hotline at 866-MDE-GOTO (866-633-4686) or the DNR fish health hotline at

For more information about health concerns, contact the DHMH Environmental Helpline at (866-703-3266) or e-mail: www.envirhealth@maryland.gov
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