CLEAR LAKE CYANOTOXIN ISSUES

EPA

The Environmental Protection Department (Big Valley EPA) researches, plans, funds, and implements projects that protect the Tribe’s environment.  Return to Big Valley EPA's page.

The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians began a cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin monitoring program on Clear Lake in 2014 with another shoreline Tribe, Elem Indian Colony. Together the two Tribes' Environmental Departments have collaborated with equipment, resources and time to test the water for toxins produced by cyanobacteria (AKA “Blue Green Algae”). These toxins are called cyanotoxins and can be neurotoxins, liver toxins and skin toxins. The Tribes began this program because despite the fact that Clear Lake had thick, noxious blooms covering its surface every summer since 2009, there was no regular and active monitoring of these blooms for the cyanotoxins that the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) had reviewed and suggested Action Levels for in 2012, and for which the World Health Organization provided guidance regarding exposure in the 1990’s.  OEHHA's Report  

CURRENT RESULTS - 2020 SAMPLING RESULTS/LOCATIONS 

 

 UPDATE ON CLEAR LAKE CYANOTOXIN LEVELS:

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At our last sampling event on 10/6/20, we collected water samples from 21 sites on and in the lake.  Cyanobacteria blooms were in most locations, so we further reviewed those samples by microscopy.  Water samples were sent off for Microcystin cyanotoxin and/or toxin producing genes count. 

Signage recommending restricted activity based on toxin trigger levels are as follows:

CAUTION  / WARNING / DANGER   SIGNAGE

 10/6/20 RESULTS:

7 sites above the California DANGER Trigger Level:

LC01                             416.60µg/L 

RED01                           113.10

AP01                                48.88

SBMMEL01                    38.08

JB                                      25.73

CLOAKS01                    22.94

KP01                                20.42

   

      4 sites above the California WARNING Trigger Level:

LPTNT                           17.58µg/L

BP                                    13.57

SHADY01                     13.03 

LUC01                             8.84

4 sites above the California CAUTION Trigger Level:

ELEM01                          5.78

CLV7                               1.99

KEYS03                           0.93

  KEYS03 anatoxin 1.85 µg/L

HB  elevated levels of toxin producing genes and presence of toxin producing cyanobacteria. Not submitted for toxin analysis.

PENDING

BLCL6

CP

GH

3 sites not sent off for analysis because no bloom:

UBL

RODS

KEYS01

SITES NOT SAMPLED DURING THIS SAMPLING EVENT ARE NOT SHOWN ON THE MAP

Summer sampling of 2x/month is occurring.  Our next sampling date is

October 20, 2020

EPA STAFF:

Sarah Ryan, Environmental Director (707)263-3924 x132 and (707)349-4040 cell

John Gichuki, Assistant Envt'l Director (707)263-3924 x133

Elias Rodriguez, Recycling Center Manager

Pedro Miguel, Environmental Specialist

Katherine Schrade, Environmental Specialist