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 - 2021 SAMPLING RESULTS/LOCATIONS
UPDATE ON CLEAR LAKE CYANOTOXIN LEVELS:
At our last sampling event on 6/07/21, we collected water samples from 14 sites on the lake. Blooms were noted in multiple locations, and we used microscopy and Abraxis field strips to measure microcystin and determined that eight sites should be sent for lab analysis.
Identified map signage recommending restricted activity is based on CalOEHHA toxin trigger levels. Developed signage:
DANGER (Anything above 20):
SHADY01 87.67 µg/L
WARNING (Anything above 6):
JB 19.68 µg/L
CAUTION (Anything above 0.8):
LC01 1.69 µg/L
CLV7 presence of toxin producing genes
KP01 presence of toxin producing genes
CLOAKS01 presence of toxin producing genes
BP presence of toxin producing genes
LPTNT presence of toxin producing genes
NO SIGNAGE NEEDED (below Caution):
SITES NOT SAMPLED DURING THIS SAMPLING EVENT ARE NOT SHOWN ON THE MAP.
Summer sampling of 2x month is occurring. Next sampling event will be June 21th.
Sarah Ryan, Environmental Director (707)263-3924 x132 and (707)349-4040 cell
Alfred Balletto, Water Quality Program Coordinator
Katherine Schrade, Environmental Specialist
Richard White, Solid Waste Technician