Water Resources Protection Program
Presentations on the Cyanotoxin Monitoring Program:
Cyanobacteria Impacts to Tribal Water Uses
CLEAR LAKE CYANOTOXIN ISSUES
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 - 2022 SAMPLING RESULTS/LOCATIONS
UPDATE ON CLEAR LAKE CYANOTOXIN LEVELS:
SUMMER MONITORING OCCURRING, NEXT SAMPLING EVENT SEPTEMBER 7, 2022
On August 23rd, Big Valley EPA staff sampled at 18 locations on the Clear Lake shoreline. Visible blooms were noted at 16 sites.
Microscopy was conducted on all samples by an outside lab and the results are still pending.
For more information on which cyanobacteria can produce which toxins: https://bit.ly/CyanobacteriaToxinsChart
We submitted 16 sites for the full suite of toxin analysis (Microcystin, Anatoxin, Cylindrospermopsin and Saxitoxin) and 2 sites for Microcystin qPCR analysis. Results are below.
Identified map signage recommending restricted activity is based on CalOEHHA toxin trigger levels.
8/23/22 RESULTS are for Microcystin unless otherwise noted:
DANGER (Anything above 20):
RED01 101.25 µg/L
WARNING (Anything above 6):
SBMMEL01 11.50 µg/L
CAUTION (Anything above 0.8):
LC01 5.73 µg/L
RODS 0.46 µg/L
SITES NOT SAMPLED DURING THIS SAMPLING EVENT ARE NOT SHOWN ON THE MAP.
Sarah Ryan, Environmental Director (707)263-3924 x132 and (707)349-4040 cell
Alix Tyler, Water Quality Program Manager
Katherine Schrade, Environmental Data Coordinator
Richard White, Pollution Prevention Coordinator
Alicia Castellanos, Environmental Assistant
Nijoel McCloud, Environmental Technician