Wednesday October 26, 2022

ABC 7 News

The destructive algal bloom that struck San Francisco Bay this summer has researchers looking at both causes and solutions. But now, several environmental groups are demanding action on a similar challenge miles upstream from the Bay. They’re focused on a toxic bloom that’s become almost a yearly occurrence in and around the Delta.

“And it produces a toxin that’s acutely poisonous to people and their pets. So this, this will kill your dog if it gets exposed to enough of it and can make people very sick if they come in contact with a water, but also the toxins and the cyanobacterial cells get aerosolized in a heavy wind. So it makes it sort of a hazard even if you’re walking near the waterway, explains Jon Rosenfield, senior scientist with San Francisco Baykeeper.

The group has captured images of the bright green bloom near Stockton and Discovery Bay. While the exact causes are still being studied, Baykeeper and other groups have filed an emergency petition with the State Water Resources Control Board. It’s asking the board to increase the seasonal flow of water into the Delta from the San Joaquin River to a 40% level they say was laid out in an amended Bay-Delta plan. It’s a move that some researchers believe could help fish and wildlife and potentially flush out the organisms causing the bloom.

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