PORT HENRY — Both public beaches in Port Henry were closed Tuesday after tests found blue-green algae in the water.
The Moriah Town Beach, located in Port Henry, has been relocated for now, and the Port Henry Village Beach may be able to reopen later.
Moriah Town Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said the town and villages beaches on Lake Champlain were both closed by the State Department of Health after the test results were released.
“We relocated the Town Beach, to the (Bulwagga) Bay side of the Town Campground,” Scozzafava said. “We moved lifeguards, equipment, everything. The bay side is free from the algae.”
Blue-green algae is a cyanobacteria that produces toxins that are harmful to swimmers. Several cases of human poisoning through skin contact have been documented in the United States.
Some years ago, two dogs died after coming into contact with blue-green algae at Point au Roche State Park in Beekmantown.
The Bulwagga Bay Town Campground is adjacent to the beach. Scozzafava said the same parking lot will be used for the relocated beach, but people should follow signs to the new spot.
Port Henry Mayor Ernest Guerin said new tests are being conducted at the Village Beach, and they may be able to reopen it.
“We’re working on it now,” he said Tuesday evening. “I’m headed there right now, and (Trustee) Jack Sheldon is already there. We should know later.”
It’s possible the Village Beach could reopen Friday if the water stays clear of algae, Sheldon said.
“Our advice was to keep the swimming area closed until they (state health officials) come down Thursday. They had to wait for it to go, and test the clear water. It’s clear right now, but it comes and goes. It’s (the closure) a precautionary measure we’re taking.”
No cases of sickness resulted from the blue-green algae in the water, Scozzafava said.
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