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News for December 4, 2021

National Park Service Warns Campers About Toxic Algae In Yosemite Valley Creek

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A report said that the National Park Service had warned guests that toxic algae might be present in Yosemite Valley creeks.

In an Instagram post, the park service stated that recent tests at Central California’s park yielded positive results. The algae can release concentrated amounts of toxic chemicals into the water when they die or are disturbed.

These toxins have been known to cause serious health problems and were one theory behind the mysterious death last month of a family with their dog in the Sierra National Forest near Yosemite’s Highway 140 entrance.

The Park Service posted that campers should not drink or enter Tenaya Creek, which flows from above Mirror Lake to the Merced River near North Pines Campground.

Although some parks may have warning signs, guests are advised to be cautious. They should report any large blooms or unusual-looking algae, which will be taken into account by the park service.

Clearwater without visible algae is considered low-risk. However, isolated clumps or floating algae may still exist. The park service asks guests not to disturb the algal mats.

“Wading and swimming can release toxic chemicals into the water.”

According to the state health department, animals may have been poisoned by algae. People should not allow pets to drink from the affected waters or eat or touch the algae, even on the shore. The algae can cause vomiting and diarrhea in high amounts, but no human deaths have been linked to drinking water or recreational exposure to the toxins.

The park service continues to monitor toxic algae sites in the park and test for them throughout the park.

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