Blue-Green Algae

The 2019 headlines regarding the death of three dogs in North Carolina and one in Georgia due to the toxins produced (microcystin) by blue-green algae has many on Lake Wawasee and Syracuse Lake asking “should we be concerned?” Two important things to remember are that not all algae is blue-green algae and not all blue-green algae produce the microcystin toxin. More information on this algae from IDEM may be found here and here.

Student research team members from Grace College’s Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, under the supervision of Dr. Nate Bosch and Adrienne Funderburg, sample 14 local lakes weekly from June to August, including Wawasee and Syracuse. These samples are analyzed for microcystin toxin by both the Lilly Center, at Grace College’s campus, and Heidelberg University as the Lilly Center continues the process of validating results using their state-of-the-art testing equipment. *Current results from Summer 2019 are well below IDEM/EPA human advisory levels.”

WACF collaborates with Dr. Bosch and the Lilly Center as a research resource to closely monitor the blue-green algae issue. The most recent toxin results do not indicate a concern for human exposure in Lake Wawasee and Syracuse Lake, but the Lilly Center and WACF will continue to keep a close watch moving forward. Please refer to the Animal Board of Health for more information regarding animals.

The Lilly Center researches Wawasee and Syracuse lakes as well as the surrounding streams to determine strategies for reducing this health risk, while WACF continues to focus on the reduction of the nutrients that feed the algae in the lake with the WINS research, upstream mitigation projects, and acquiring wetland properties that act as the “final filter” for nutrients. Reduction of nutrients flowing into the lake is a potential long-term defense again the blue-green algae toxins. Please call us if you see an algae bloom so we can partner with the Lilly Center to get samples for testing.

Through your generous donations and additional grant funding, WACF will continue to work hard to protect and preserve our watershed. Research, land acquisition and remediation efforts are key to keeping our water clean for generations to come.


Volunteer of the Month

The Education Committee at WACF is proud to announce the recipient of the Volunteer of the Month for June 2021, Diana Castell. Congratulations, Diana!

New WACF Water Study

WACF is undertaking a new and comprehensive wetland water quality study that will allow us to focus our resources on the most critical hot spots. Read more….