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Scientists Will Test Ultrasonic Treatment To Combat Toxic Algae On Long Island

blue green algae
Image by Stephen Marc from Pixabay

On Long Island, scientists will study how creating ultrasonic waves underwater could help combat toxic algal blooms that invade Lake Agawam in Southampton every year. This experiment is the first of its kind in New York.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will work with the Village of Southampton, the nonprofit Lake Agawam Conservancy and Stony Brook University to study the effects of ultrasonic waves and hydrogen peroxide on blue-green algae.

Jesse Warren is the Southampton Village Mayor.

“We’re going to be able to use microsonic devices that emit microsonic waves into Lake Agawam to disrupt the toxic algae blooms, we’re going to be combining that with coats of hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, that break down water, both will disrupt the harmful algae blooms,” Warren said.

The blue-green algae in Lake Agawam emits a toxin that causes breathing, digestive and liver problems in people, and sometimes death in small animals.

Officials said the experiment is not a cure-all and to make the lake healthier; it will require further work. The hope is the community will see a difference in the lake this summer.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.