Officials issue advisories as toxic algae bloom endanger New Jersey lakes

State and local officials are issuing advisories for many lakes and reservoirs in New Jersey that have been impacted by dangerous algae blooms.

The toxic algae blooms, which began in June, have been spreading to lakes across the state and hindering seasonal activities for many visitors and residents.

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The blue-green algae, scientifically known as cyanobacteria, are microscopic bacteria found in lakes, streams, ponds and brackish water systems (areas where saltwater and freshwater meet).

These bacteria can cause significant harm to people, livestock, and pets that come into contact with or swim in contaminated water.

Though the blue-green algae can form “blooms” which give the water a blue-green, murky appearance, blue-green algae can still be present in water that looks completely clear.

While water lovers aren’t prohibited from enjoying the state’s lakes and reservoirs, officials are urging everyone to be cautious and mindful of which lakes they visit.

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Most notably, Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey’s largest lake, has drawn the most attention in light of the unprecedented blooms.

Several press releases from the DEP note the affects the toxic algae bloom has had in other lakes. 

Other lakes affected by the algae bloom include: 

Report any suspected HAB sighting by calling the DEP Hotline at 1-877-WARNDEP (877-927-6337), or send a mobile alert through the WARN NJDEP mobile app (available via iTunes, Google Play or Windows Phone), or report via the DEP’s HAB website at