BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park is looking a bit green these days.
Algae blooms are growing everywhere, slowly turning the lake a greenish-brown. Without water flowing in and out, there’s nowhere for blooms to go.
Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy President Thomas Herrera-Mishler said, “As the nutrients build up over the summer from runoff, that’s when these algae blooms start to occur in water bodies like Hoyt Lake.”
Algae blooms typically feed on fertilizer runoff, which brings nitrogen and phosphorous into the water. They can be toxic; six beaches are closed along Chautauqua Lake because of toxic blue-green algae. If you drank the water, it could cause vomiting or even liver damage.
In Lake Erie, there’s an even larger bloom that left people in Toledo, Ohio unable to drink the tap water.
However, what’s happening at Hoyt Lake is a bit more common and Mishler said the water is still safe.
He explained, “Generally speaking they’re not the evil, toxic kind they’re experiencing in parts of Lake Erie, so people should not be concerned that this is the toxic algae bloom.”
The algae still has to go, but fixing the water in Hoyt Lake will require fixing the Scajaquada Creek, which no longer runs continuously through the city.
“The way that the lake was originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, it was part of a continuous water system. It took a lot of effort and a lot of effort to mess up the creek and it’s going to take a lot of effort and a lot of money to fix it,” said Mishler.