OREGON, OH (Toledo News Now) - Visitors to Maumee Bay State Park in the upcoming weeks should expect to see new signs warning about a toxin that has been showing up in the water.
Currently, the shoreline at Maumee Bay State Park looks good. There are no signs of any bluegreen algae like last season. However, the state is not taking any chances. Crews are posting signs warning people who visit of what to be aware
"2011 was the worst year for Lake Erie and algae. It went all the way from Toledo past Cleveland. We've never seen that before," said Sandy Bihn, a Lake Erie waterkeeper.
Bihn is on the Lake Erie Waterkeeper Alliance and has been studying the effects of algae for five years. She said it was time the state posted permanent signs along Lake Erie beaches.
The signs will have a picture of bluegreen algae and warn people that it can be toxic.
"It seems to be coming and getting worse, but we haven't had the reports of a lot of illnesses or anything like that, and what we're trying to do is catch it ahead of time," explained Bihn.
Park visitors are glad to hear the signs are coming because they have often wondered how safe the algae was.
"Of course it's a good idea. It keeps people out of danger and it's information that people would need," said Junie Harracksingh, an avid park goer.
Bihn has her fingers crossed the algae will not be as bad this year.
"Algae comes when the water gets about 80 degrees near shore. That's when she starts to pop up. No one knows. This year, we didn't have the heavy rainfalls, so maybe it'll be better," said Bihn.
If not, at least people will know why the water looks so bizarre.
The signs will go up at 14 parks in Ohio where the bluegreen algae has already been detected.