If you head to the Delta this weekend, watch out for harmful algae blooms

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Contra Costa Environmental Health says if you plan on enjoying the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta this holiday weekend, to watch out for dangerous algae blooms.

East Bay Regional Park District has posted an advisory at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley at the kayak launch and around the fishing dock about the blooms that can make people and pets very sick.  

The algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, can create green, blue-green white or brown coloring on the surface of slow-moving waterways. %INLINE%

If you are headed to these areas, officials have these words of caution: 

•        Stay out of the water, and do not touch algae scum in the water or on the shore 
•        Do not use the water for drinking, cleaning or cooking 
•        Do not let pets or livestock enter or drink the water 
•        Do not eat fish or shellfish from the water 

There is also an advisory of caution from California State Water Resources Control Board around the mouth of Mormon Slough near the Morelli Boat Ramp due to the presence of cyanobacteria. If you are in that area, you are advised to do the following: 

•        Do not swim or wade near algae or algae scum 
•        Keep children and pets away from algae in the water or on the shore 
•        Do not drink the water or use it for cooking or cleaning 
•        Don't eat shellfish from the water 

For more information on health and safety instructions, check out Contra Costa County Health Services

CSWRCB also found small amounts of algae blooms in the following areas: Fourteenmile Slough/White Slough, Buckley Cove and the San Joaquin River at Windmill Beach. 

Health officials advise to protect yourself and pets whether an advisory is posted or not, by rinsing off with fresh water after touching the water. Make sure dogs don't drink the water or swim near algae blooms. Be sure to bring fresh drinking water for your pets.