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Nuisance Algae Project

We're mapping problem spots for algae on Georgian Bay shorelines, and we need your help!

The presence of Cladophora algae can be a nuisance to people, animals, and industrial infrastructure. 

Fill out our quick survey and help us track harmful algae blooms in Georgian Bay

Nuisance Algae in Georgian Bay

Algae occur naturally in freshwater systems, and are essential to the aquatic food web and healthy ecosystems. However, too much or too little algae can result in negative impacts to water quality, the ecosystem,  and human health.  

Cladophora is a filamentous green alga that grows on hard substrates in all of the Great Lakes, and with excess nutrients can grow to nuisance levels, clogging municipal and industrial water intakes, fouling beaches as it decomposes, or providing a medium for pathogens (e.coli and type e. botulism).  

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is assessing the health of the Great Lakes nearshore waters, including the impact of nuisance algae on the nearshore ecosystem and the people who use it. While shoreline fouling due to Cladophora is not known to be a major issue in Georgian Bay, satellite mapping indicates potentially high levels of growth in the nearshore. To verify these findings,  ECCC requires additional information at the ground level. Further information is essential to understand the possible threats and in turn the necessary actions for environmental conservation, restoration, and protection.  

You Can Help

Simply fill out our short survey if you have spent time on the shore and have seen or not seen algae washed up on any part of the Georgian Bay coastline.  Your report will allow us to determine which areas are prime targets for further scientific study.

By filling out just a few questions on this survey, you will help Georgian Bay Forever and ECCC to mitigate potential impact of these nuisance algae blooms.

Your data is vital for stopping nuisance algae in Georgian Bay.

Become a Citizen Scientist

Even if you have not seen algae recently, you can still volunteer to become a citizen scientist and report any algae sightings you discover this spring and summer.

 

Volunteering is easy!  

Are you planning on visiting the shores of  Georgian Bay this spring, summer, or fall? If so, just fill out the form to the right and let us know that if you spot algae, you'll report it to us - it's that simple.

What's Involved?

  • Visit a Georgian Bay beach or shoreline on your own time

  • If you see algae, take a photo or just make a note of when and where you saw it

  • Report if you have seen or not seen algae through our quick online survey

That's it!

Volunteer on Your Own Terms
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Which seasons will you be able to report findings?

Thanks for your interest in volunteering with us! We'll get back to you soon.

Have You Seen This Algae?

Cladophora algae grows on hard surfaces in thin, stringy, green strands. When disconnected from their surface, they wash up on shore in tufts, balls, or dense mats.

 

Cladophora is not a problem in general until it grows to excess levels, which can wash up on shore creating nuisance conditions. Has Cladophora ever impacted your experience with the lake?  

 

If you've seen this algae on a shoreline in Georgian Bay,

let us know!

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This Project Is Possible Because of the Generous Support of Environment Climate Change Canada
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