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 - 2019 SAMPLING RESULTS/LOCATIONS
LAB UPDATE ON CLEAR LAKE CYANOTOXIN LEVELS:
Because of an Aphanizomenon bloom in Upper Blue Lakes, a special sampling event occurred on 12/10/2019 to test for Anatoxin-a, a toxin produced by Aphanizomenon cyanobacteria. Lab results confirmed an Anatoxin result of 0.17 µg/L. Caution signs have been erected at the testing location at the eastern end of Upper Blue Lakes. Follow up sampling on 12/16/19 shows No Detect of Anatoxin-a. Per state recommendations, signage should remain until 2 sampling events with No Detect.
At our last sampling event on 12/16/19, 7 sites were sampled for Microcystin and 2 sites for Anatoxin-a. One site had low detect of MICROCYSTIN and the remaining sites were NON DETECT for the specific toxins for which they were analyzed.
The most recent testing MICROCYSTIN results:
CLOAKS01 0.11 ug/L
The most recent testing ANATOXIN-A results:
KEYS02 NS (NOT SAMPLED)
Winter sampling on Clear Lake is monthly with fewer sites. Our next sampling date is in January 7, 2020.
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 Technician
Katherine Schrade, Environmental Technician
Michael Nevarez, Solid Waste Technician
Mark McCloud, Jr, Solid Waste Technician