One year ago, Georgica Pond was closed to bathing and shellfishing, a closure that persisted for more than three months. The reason for this closure: Toxic blue-green algae. Also known as cyanobacteria, these microbes synthesize potent neurotoxins and gastrointestinal toxins that were responsible for dog and other animal deaths on Georgica Pond in recent years. In 2014, the blue-green algae bloom began on July 23rd, intensified through the summer and fall, but disappeared when the inlet or cut to the ocean was opened in October. Knowing that blue-green algae thrive in fresh and brackish water, it was recommended that leaving the inlet open as long as possible in 2015 would discourage blue-green algae blooms. Affirming this hypothesis, leaving the inlet open has left the salinity in the Pond more than twice the levels observed last year and the blue green algae are nowhere to be found. While there is still much to do regarding the health of Georgica Pond, it seems that managed openings of the Georgica Pond inlet can play a role in discouraging blue-green algae.
As a reminder, Dr. Gobler will provide an oral report on Georgica Pond at the residence of John and Annie Hall this Saturday August 1st at 9am. He looks forward to seeing many of you and answering your questions.