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.


For the health and safety of everyone, the WACF Board of Directors has cancelled the public meeting of the WACF *ANNUAL LAKE CELEBRATION & BRUNCH, *scheduled for Saturday, July 25th, 10:30 AM at the WACF Education Center.
In its place, the Board of Directors will attend the WACF ANNUAL MEETING, on Saturday, July 25, in-person, and socially-distanced, at the Ruddell Pavilion and the Jorgensen Amphitheater at the WACF Center. Board members and staff may also attend remotely.
The agenda for the Annual Meeting will include: a presentation by Dr. Jerry Sweeten, Ecosystems Connections Institute, on initial research and findings from the first year of the Wawasee Inlets Nutrient Study (WINS), the WACF Cattail Awards, recognizing exceptional commitment to the
enhancement of water quality in the Wawasee Area Watershed, and a salute to WACF volunteers.
Highlights of the Annual Meeting will be made available via remote
live-streaming or on the WACF YouTube Channel. Details on internet access of the meeting will be posted on and WACF Facebook page.


Key WACF Acquisition

After a full 20 years of negotiations with the property owner, WACF has acquired what is arguably their most important property. The Turkey Creek Inlet Preserve (across from Runaway Bay) filters the approximately 43% of water flowing into Lake Wawasee. Please take a few minutes to listen to Tom Yoder explain the importance of this property to Lake Wawasee.

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….