Toxic Brown Algae Growing On Long Island, Closing Beaches And Affecting Fisheries

Jun 25, 2021

A toxic brown tide is rapidly growing in the Great South Bay.

Scientists at the Gobler Laboratory at Stony Brook University said the tide in Patchogue has the largest number of algae recorded on Long Island since 2017. It measures 300,000 cells of algae per milliliter.

Decades of research has identified the algal blooms are created by high levels of nitrogen pollution from old septic systems leaking. The bay also does a poor job of flushing pollutants into the Atlantic Ocean.

Brown tides are harmful to Long Island’s scallop fisheries. Health officials have closed beaches where swimming and recreational fishing is unsafe.