Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) – Division of Water Monitoring & Standards logo



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Exposure to cyanobacteria cells can cause a range of mild to moderate health effects, including rashes, allergy-like reactions, flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis, respiratory irritation and eye irritation. Incidental ingestion of water containing the toxins these bacteria can produce, known as cyanotoxins, can result in more serious health effects such as liver toxicity and neurological effects. Children and pets are more vulnerable because they ingest more water in relation to their weight.

DEP has enhanced its Monitoring and Response Strategy and developed a color-coded health alert index to provide the public with strong and clear guidance on suitable recreational activities in freshwater lakes and other water bodies impacted by harmful algal blooms.

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HABs Information

Governor's Initiative
2020 Governor's Initiative

Learn more about the components of the Governor’s initiative.
Governor’s Initiative
Fact Sheet 

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Signs
Alert Tiers & Signs

Learn more about the 5 HABs alert tiers and download or request physical signs for posting.

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training
Training

Short videos on reporting HABs, using the Interactive Mapping System, and types of measurements and sample collection.

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factssheet
HABs Factsheets

Learn more about HABs-related topics including health effects, HABs and pets, lakefront homeowners’ issues, planting guides and more.

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faqs
HABs Monitoring FAQs

Learn more about the State’s freshwater recreational response monitoring program.

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