A new Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Departments website (www.checkmyoklake.com) helps the public know the recreational water quality at local lakes and rivers while also providing educational information about blue-green algae (BGA) levels.
BGA is present in all bodies of water, but a rise in growth has been noted in recent years—and not just in Oklahoma. The algae doesn’t pose a health risk until it blooms, which happened in Oklahoma last summer, significantly affecting tourism at these lakes. All blooms are considered potentially harmful to humans.
“Oklahoma’s more than 200 lakes and miles of rivers are recreational draws, but they are also complicated ecosystems susceptible to environmental and weather conditions,” said Deby Snodgrass, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.
“All Oklahomans need to know how to identify blue-green algae so they can avoid water with visible algae accumulation or discoloration and keep pets and livestock away as well. As an added precaution, lake goers are encouraged to check recreational water quality our new website before visiting an Oklahoma lake to see if there are any blue-green algae advisories posted,” Snodgrass added.