Cyanobacteria – Research and Awareness on a Potential Neurotoxin

Cyanobacteria bloom at the mouth of Thorp Brook, Charlotte. Photo credit: David McKinnon Schmidt

Cyanobacteria bloom at the mouth of Thorp Brook, Charlotte. Photo credit: David McKinnon Schmidt

Lewis Creek Association understands the connection between water quality (nutrient pollution) and cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) blooms in lakes.  We are concerned about public health, as it ties in closely with our active work to improve water quality through the Ahead of the Storm program and education.

To this end, LCA hosted a viewing of the film Toxic Puzzle in January 2019, attended by about 50 people.  Jon Erikson of UVM Gund Institute presented and there was a lively discussion after the film.  We will host a screening of and discussion on the locally produced documentary Lake Effect on October 17. Lake Effect explores research from Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Dr. Elijah Stommel into a possible connection between blue-green algae blooms that are fed by excess phosphorus in lakes, and the neurodegenerative disease ALS.  UVM professors Dr. Jason Stockwell and Dr. Rachelle Gould, and Ph.D. student Natalie Flores will also be present to discuss their ongoing research locally, as will the filmmakers.  This event is free and open to all, and will be held at the Ferrisburgh Town Offices & Community Center, 3279 Route 7, Ferrisburgh on Thursday, October 17, 2019, from 5:30 PM – 8 PM. See Press Release for further information.

Additional Resources

State of Vermont Health Department resources on cyanobacteria and how to identify it

Beyond Guam: the cyanobacteria/BMAA hypothesis of the cause of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases

Massive Toxic Algae Blooms May Prove a Sign of Climate Change to Come

New Hampshire Neurologist Studies Possible Algae-ALS Link

Dietary exposure to an environmental toxin triggers neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid deposits in the brain

Tenuous Links Between Blue-green algae and Neurological Diseases