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Moreau Lake State Park beach closure

A sign posted at the Moreau Lake State Park beach after the first harmful algal bloom in August. 

MOREAU — The Moreau Lake State Park beach is closed again.

On Thursday afternoon, park workers saw what is likely a toxic algal bloom. They immediately closed the beach, which includes posting large red signs warning people to stay away and to keep their pets out of the water.

“When it clears, we will send a sample out for testing,” said state parks spokesman Dan Keefe.

If it’s clear, the beach will be reopened.

That means it is likely to be closed for more than a day. Swimmers can call the park at 518-793-0511 to find out if the beach is open.

It is hitting at a bad time — the park usually has many campers, especially on the weekend, and the lake is the main draw.

It will still cost $8 to enter the park.

It is the third lake-related problem to hit the park this summer. It is the second algal bloom; earlier there were itchy rashes caused by a parasite. Park workers told visitors to stop feeding the ducks, which spread the parasite.

It’s not clear if anything can be done to stop the algal blooms. They flourish in warm water, and it has been an unusually warm summer.

Harmful algal blooms, also known as cyanobacteria, can be toxic. The most common toxin found in New York state's blooms is called microcystin, a kind of liver toxin. Exposure can cause health problems like nausea, headache, diarrhea and skin rash. When the beach was closed a week ago, it was due to microcystin from a toxic algal bloom.

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You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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