Swim With Caution

Cleaning your trash cans frequently is great for the health and safety of your family. But did you know it’s equally as beneficial for the environment too?

In Southeast Louisiana, we are almost completely surrounded by water. And these waters are enjoyed by outdoorsman and watersport enthusiasts alike. Fishing, crabbing, trolling, hunting, tubing, swimming, and many other activities that people enjoy are done in these waters. But did you ever think that while you enjoying these activities that you could be in danger?

June of 2019 was the most recent case where there was a health advisory listed for swimming in Lake Pontchartrain. This was because of suspected toxic Cyanobacteria.

Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, is a form of algae that is toxic to humans, almost always lethal to our furry friends and can cause devastating effects to the eco-system. According to recent studies, these algae bloom are getting worse over time. The cause? Nutrient pollution. Storm water, wastewater, household chemicals, and agriculture are just a few of the catalyst to a growing problem because of increasing population.

Animal waste, food waste, diapers, bottles of household cleaners, chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers that you throw into your trash can are fuel to the flame. Nitrates, phosphates, and nitrogen, all which are found in these products accelerate the growth of these blooms and create a toxic environment. But how do they get there? Runoff mostly. From improper cleaning and heavy rains making its way into the storm drains. Obviously your dirty trash can isn‘t the only thing creating this algae nor will cleaning it be the end all solution to this issue but it can help slow down its progression. We swim in these waters, eat its seafood, enjoy hunting and fishing. Let’s clean up our act so we can continue to enjoy these things for ourselves and our future generations.

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