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Cyanobacteria Bloom Eastern Bay of Plenty Update

MEDIA RELEASE 14 December 2007

Health Warning
Cyanobacteria Bloom Eastern Bay of Plenty

The extent of the potentially toxic cyanobacterial bloom in the Eastern Bay of Plenty rivers has reduced following recent heavy rain.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s most recent survey shows that the bloom has largely disappeared from the Rangitaiki River and is reduced in the Whakatane and Waimana Rivers.

Rangitaiki River
The Medical Officer of Health has lifted the health warning advising against recreational use of the Rangitaiki River from Murupara to the river mouth at Thornton.

Whakatane and Waimana Rivers
Although these rivers have improved, the Medical Officer of Health advises the public to exercise caution when using the rivers for recreational activity and to avoid direct contact with the dark brown/black or golden brown cyanobacterial mats that develop in shallow areas of the river, particularly along the riverbanks.

Eastern Bay of Plenty
This has been the first year that such extensive cyanobacterial mats have been seen in the Eastern Bay. It is believed that the recent warm and dry weather, with low river flow may have provided ideal conditions for the cyanobacteria.

Since the bloom may reoccur or extend in any of the Eastern Bay of Plenty rivers, Environment Bay of Plenty and Whakatane District Council will continue to monitor the rivers over the summer.

Updated advisory notices will also be put in place along the main rivers informing the public of what to look out for.

Information on cyanobacteria is available on Environment Bay of Plenty’s website www.envbop.govt.nz


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