Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are produced by naturally occurring cyanobacteria in lakes and ponds, including the Prospect Park Lake and other bodies of water in the NYC area. While they usually exist in low numbers, this type of algae can bloom during the summer months, which gives the water the appearance of pea soup, a green paint spill, or thin blue or green mats floating on the surface or along the shoreline.
HABs can cause skin and eye irritation from external contact, asthma-like symptoms from inhaling water or spray, and gastrointestinal and neurologic symptoms from ingestion. Children and pets are more vulnerable to these effects. Because blooms can be hard to identify, park visitors must avoid contact with any algae and heed all posted signage.
Recently, the Alliance received a grant to create a natural filtration system to stem the growth of algae blooms. Learn more about our plans to combat algae blooms.
Where can dogs swim?
Where can you fish?
Tips to avoid Harmful Algal Blooms
What to do if exposure occurs
For more about algal blooms, visit the NYC Parks website.